Crucible Title Essay Research Paper The title

Crucible Title Essay, Research Paper

The title of Author Miller s play the Crucible fits the story in many ways. There are

many definitions for a crucible but mainly two of them fit the story most. The first

definition of a crucible is a melting pot that chemist and alchemists used to mix metals,

but in order to melt the metals down they had to heat the metals up to a certain point for

them to turn to liquids. So in fact a crucible is a container that can withstand high

temperatures. In this way the characters of the play have to withstand a lot of heat but

like all metals they find their boiling point and just give up. This is evident in the play

when John Proctor, the story s main character, becomes so enthralled with the trial

and all the pressure that he signs his own death warrant just to get it over with. The

second definition of a crucible is a great test or trial, and as one might know the story

unfolds itself to be a great trial of good versus evil. The title serves as a point of

departure for the reader and gives the reader a edge into the story even before you

start to read the play itself.

In a metaphorical way, Miller uses the title The Crucible to potray many

points. For example, The Crucible actually intended to be a satire of the

anti-Soviet feeling that ran rampant throughout the country. The plays intention

was to potray and poke holes into the feeling of the day, and the whole McCarthy

trials going on back then. The play connected to that whole era because it showed

how the hysteria of a people leads to its downfall and how the only thing we have

to fear is our selves. For his work on this play and his affirmation of once being a

member of the Communist party, Miller was put on a Black List . Like the Salem

witch trials, many lives were ruined by the McCarthy trials. So Miller portrays

himself to be John Proctor, a hard working, respectable, honest man whose life is

destroyed by the trials. Connecting this all to the title, one can find that Miller was

going through a Crucible of his own and this whole incident influenced his


Spiritually, the play s title The Crucible could have a reference to hell if one

connects that a crucible is really hot and that hell is perceived to be really hot. One

can tell that the presence of hell is found throughout the story. To find the

references to hell one has to connect the whole idea that everything that lives in

hell is evil, and everything found in the village at the ending of the story is evil. The

presence of Satan is found throughout the story. John Proctor even notices it by

saying A fire is burning, I hear the boot of Lucifer. Like a crucible the town is

starting to be destroyed by evil found within itself. The heat and presence of

Satan and all his creations. As well as this point, the word crucible is taken from

the Latin word crucibulum. The root word of crucibulum is crux. This is important

for many reason. First, the word crux has ties to crucifixion. In the story John

Procter was crucified for his belief and doing what he though would be honest.

He was crucified because he didn t die of old age or cancer, but for believing in

what he thought was right. That is what cruxifaction is. The second importance of

this is that most of the people who were convicted of witchcraft were crucified at

the stake. They were burned to death. The church was trying to prove its holyness

by crucifixion but led to a leading theme of irony found throughout the play.

The purpose of a crucible is to melt things down by using very intense

pressure and heat. This is illustrated in the play when Danforth says to Proctor in

Act Three We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment. The court

scenes were times of tension, intensity, pressure, and conflicts between powerful

authority type characters to realize they have signed away the lives of many

innocent people simply because of a little lie. Also, the severe intensity and

pressure of the court scenes also connected to the them of heating things up. The

situation in the court is of immense proportions. One can get the hint that the

judges are upset because of the way they address the congregation and defendants.

The judge s hostility is sensed when he forces Mary Warren to lie in order to live,

but instead is killed because she lied. The harshness of the judge is intense as he

forgets about human feelings and just focuses on killing innocent people because of

some weak threat.

In short, adaptable given title crucible is related to the play in many ways.

Miller directly, historically, and metaphorically ties it down and connects it all to the title.

In fact the crucible has a another meaning not yet mentioned. Since a crucible melts down

metals, I realized that a homophone (or word that has a different meaning but sounds the

same) for the word metal is mettle. What mettle is is your spirit, strength, or courage. This

might be pure coincidence but yet has a real tie to the story because the many themes

found throughout the play are the characters enduring courage and strength to overcome

the hardships at which they faced. So, the title has many relationships to the themes found

throughout the play and in my opinion was appropriately titled.


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