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The Crucible

Arthur Miller
Main Ideas

Allusions

Main Ideas Allusions

Act One

Religious

So now they and their church found it necessary to deny any other sect its freedom, lest their New Jerusalem be defiled and corrupted by wrong ways and deceitful ideas.

This is an allusion to a kind of heaven on earth, a symbolic place made up of followers of Jesus, mentioned in the biblical Book of Ezekiel.

Religious

Long-held hatreds of neighbors could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken, despite the Bible’s charitable injunctions.

This is an allusion to the Ten Commandments, which include the commandment to love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself.

Historical

Luther was himself accused of alliance with Hell, and he in turn accused his enemies.

This is an allusion to Martin Luther, a theologian and Catholic priest who broke with the Catholic Church and started the Protestant Reformation.

Act Two

Religious

Man, remember, until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.

This is an allusion to the story of the Devil, who, before falling from heaven to hell, was God’s brightest angel.

Religious

Pontius Pilate! God will not let you wash your hands of this!

This is an allusion to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who presided over the trial of Jesus but literally washed his hands in public to wash away any responsibility for Jesus’s death.

Act Four

Religious

Mr. Hale, as God have not empowered me like Joshua to stop this sun from rising, so I cannot withhold from them the perfection of their punishment.

This is an allusion to the biblical figure Joshua, who, after Moses dies, leads the Israelites in the conquest of the land of Canaan and asks God to make the sun and moon stand still so the Israelites can continue their battle in daylight.