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The Crucible Overture Notes.

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Presentation on theme: "The Crucible Overture Notes."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Crucible Overture Notes

2 In the 1600s, Puritans settled on the East coast of the United States
In the 1600s, Puritans settled on the East coast of the United States. They brought with them the hope of religious freedom, but instead became embroiled in hysteria over the existence of witches. They had been persecuted in their native England, but they created a theocracy and eventually persecuted others.

3 Why did it happen? It began as a way for the oppressed girls to avoid being punished. It then became an ideal way to get revenge on anyone whom you disliked. People started accusing their neighbors of being witches so they could steal their farmland. People accused others of being witches if they wanted to steal their husbands or wives or possessions.

4 Most of those accused of being witches were women.
Many were healers, and used plants to heal people. Many were without family, and this made them easy targets. They were people who did not fit in with the mainstream for some reason.

5 Those accused of being witches were most often found guilty
Those accused of being witches were most often found guilty. Sometimes they were sentenced to be tied to a rock dunked in a pond, and if they sank, they were declared innocent. Innocent. If they somehow survived the dunking, they were obviously witches, and they were executed. Most of those found guilty of witchcraft were hung. One man was pressed to death with rocks because he refused to plead guilty or innocent, insuring that his sons still inherited his lands.

6 How did it start? In 1692, several girls in the village of Salem, Massachusetts became intrigued when a West Indian servant told them stories of magic and voodoo from her native land. Bored and restricted by the oppressive Puritan life, the girls slipped into the woods one night and “conjured” love charms and hexes. One girl, Betty Parris, slipped into unconsciousness when her father caught them. She wouldn’t wake up, and this started the discussion of witchcraft. To avoid punishment, the girls created the story of the “witches” who made them dance and conjure the spells.

7 Salem established 40 years before
work ethic leads to increasing economic productivity no literature- seen as “vain enjoyment” holidays= time for worship idle people sent to court

8 Environment harsh wilderness threats from Indian attacks

9 Puritan Attitudes Indians were “heathens” who could not be converted
Intolerant of other religions (even though they were persecuted) Belief that they were “chosen”

10 Puritan Society Theocracy- combination of state and religion, leaders are divinely guided Theocracy established to maintain unity, protect Puritan beliefs, and enforce order

11 Reverend Parris Parris is a wormy little character.
Miller says in his notes that he found nothing redeemable about the historical Parris. As a result, he evidently felt no need to make his fictional version any better. First of all Parris is greedy. The Reverend gives weak justifications, but never denies any of the accusations. Very concerned about his reputation

12 Thomas Putnam Turned down as a minister Daughter, Ruth, “afflicted”
Wife lost seven of eight children Resentment felt toward village Son of the richest man in village

13 John Proctor Farmer in mid-thirties Reveals hypocrites
Has an affair with Abigail Williams Proctor was a stand-up guy who spoke his mind. Around town, his name was synonymous with honor and integrity. He took pleasure in exposing hypocrisy and was respected for it. Most importantly, John Proctor respected himself.

14 Abigail Villain Extraordinaire
Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar. This young lady seems to be uniquely gifted at spreading death and destruction wherever she goes. She has an eerie sense of how to manipulate others, to gain control over them. All these things add up to make her a marvelous antagonist.

15 Reverend Hale Considered and expert in the ways of the Devil
Called to Salem by Reverend Paris to investigate This guy has trained and trained to be the best witch-hunter ever, and he's psyched to finally get a chance to show off his stuff. Though he's probably a little full of himself, but ultimately his goal is to valiantly fight the Devil. What could be wrong with that? Well, a whole lot.

16 Giles Cory Often blamed for hardships In his eighties
Giles Corey is a strong old man and has only recently converted to Christianity. He's likeable, but is not too bright. His biggest bumble in the play is when brings up the fact that his wife reads strange books. To Giles, any book is strange and the idea of a woman wanting to read totally blows his mind. His mention of this fact leads to an accusation that his wife is a witch .

17 Goody Putnam Lost seven of eight childern in infancy
Convinced the Devil took her children Resents Rebecca Nurse

18 Tituba Reverend Parris’s slave from Barbados
The first one to confess to witchcraft Conjures spirits with the girls in the woods

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