The Crucible by Arthur Miller | Characters | Summary and Q&A

June 16, 2018
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The Crucible by Arthur Miller | Characters


A review of the main characters in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, including John and Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Parris, Abigail Williams, Reverend Hale, Giles Corey, and Rebecca Nurse.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 John Proctor's affair with Abigail Williams has significant consequences for his family and ultimately leads to his tragic death.
  • ☸️ Elizabeth Proctor's efforts to protect her husband inadvertently harm him and contribute to the chaos of the Salem witch hunt.
  • 🥺 Reverend Parris's insecurity leads him to accept accusations of witchcraft and perpetuate the hysteria in Salem.
  • 🪛 Abigail Williams's desire for vengeance drives her to manipulate events and plot against others.
  • ⁉️ Reverend Hale initially questions the validity of the arrests but eventually denounces the court's proceedings.
  • 💬 Giles Corey's unintentional comment results in his own arrest and tragic death.
  • 😌 Rebecca Nurse's steadfast refusal to lie leads to her wrongful conviction and ultimate sacrifice.


let's review some of the characters in Arthur Miller's the crucible John Proctor never wavers from his principled stance of being a gospel Christian an honest man and a husband devoted to his wife his one mistake was an affair with Abigail Williams which ruins his family and causes his death after he confesses to his wife Elizabeth he remains dedic... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What leads to John Proctor's downfall in "The Crucible"?

John Proctor's downfall can be attributed to his affair with Abigail Williams, which ruins his family and leads to his eventual death.

Q: How does Elizabeth Proctor unwittingly harm her husband?

Elizabeth Proctor lies to protect her husband, John, stating that he is not a lecher when he admits the truth. This act condemns him to death.

Q: What motivates Abigail Williams in "The Crucible"?

Abigail Williams is driven by vengeance and seeks to have Elizabeth Proctor convicted as a witch so that John will marry her instead.

Q: How does Reverend Hale react to the arrests in Salem?

Reverend Hale, initially an expert on witchcraft, questions the validity of the arrests and denounces the court when John Proctor and Giles Corey are arrested.

Q: What leads to Giles Corey's arrest in "The Crucible"?

Giles Corey inadvertently condemns his wife by questioning why she enjoys reading, leading to his arrest for contempt of court.

Q: Why is Rebecca Nurse accused of witchcraft?

Rebecca Nurse is falsely accused of murdering her babies through sorcery by the Putnam family, who are jealous of her large, thriving family.

Q: How does Rebecca Nurse face her sentence?

Rebecca Nurse refuses to lie and confess to witchcraft to save her life, choosing instead to walk to the gallows with the support of John Proctor.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • John Proctor, a principled man and devoted husband, makes a mistake by having an affair with Abigail Williams, resulting in his downfall.

  • Elizabeth Proctor becomes a victim of the Salem witch hunt and unknowingly condemns her husband to death in her efforts to protect him.

  • Reverend Parris is a defensive and insecure minister who fears losing his authority and believes in the existence of witchcraft.

  • Abigail Williams, driven by vengeance, seeks to have John Proctor's wife convicted as a witch to secure her own relationship with him.

  • Reverend Hale, initially a sensible man, questions the arrests and denounces the court when Proctor and Corey are arrested.

  • Giles Corey inadvertently condemns his wife in an attempt to prove her innocence and is ultimately crushed to death.

  • Rebecca Nurse, a steadfast Christian woman, is falsely accused of witchcraft by the Putnams and chooses to die rather than confess.

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