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Key Facts

Key Facts

full title  ·  The Crucible

author  · Arthur Miller

type of work  · Play

genre  · Tragedy, allegory

language  · English

time and place written  · America, early 1950s

date of first publication  ·  1953

publisher  · Viking Press

narrator  · The play is occasionally interrupted by an omniscient, third-person narrator who fills in the background for the characters.

climax  · John Proctor tells the Salem court that he committed adultery with Abigail Williams.

protagonist  · John Proctor

antagonist  · Abigail Williams

setting (time)  ·  1692

setting (place) · Salem, a small town in colonial Massachusetts

point of view ·  The Crucible is a play, so the audience and reader are entirely outside the action.

falling action · The events from John Proctor’s attempt to expose Abigail in Act IV to his decision to die rather than confess at the end of Act IV.

tense · Present

foreshadowing  · The time frame of the play is extremely compressed, and the action proceeds so quickly that there is little time for foreshadowing.

tone  · Serious and tragic—the language is almost biblical.

themes  · Intolerance; hysteria; reputation

motifs  · Empowerment; accusation, confession, legal proceedings in general

symbols  · Though the play itself has very few examples of symbolism beyond typical witchcraft symbols (rats, toads, and bats), the entire play is meant to be symbolic, with its witch trials standing in for the anti-Communist “witch-hunts” of the 1950s.

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by Shiba_Ganju, March 18, 2013

Read this to get a better mark on the spot.


48 out of 195 people found this helpful

character list

by kull2000, December 13, 2013

you forgot sarah good and sarah osborn as characters in this story, even if they dont have a line, they are still part of the story and still information


38 out of 84 people found this helpful

How many?

by r5_family, May 25, 2014

I wish it would say how many people actually died according to the play and how many people was put into prison...


20 out of 49 people found this helpful

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The Crucible

The Crucible (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)