The Salem Witch Trials HTTP://WWW.HIS TORY.COM/TOPIC S/SALEM-WITCH- TRIALS
MEET THE AUTHOR: ARTHUR MILLER Page 238
BACKGROUND The Crucible is based on the witch trials that took place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. At these trials, spectral evidence—the testimony of a church member who claimed to have seen a person’s spirit performing witchcraft—was enough to sentence the accused to death. Miller studied the court records of the trials to gain insight into his characters—all of whom were real people— and get a feel for the Puritan way of speaking. Above all, he wanted to capture the mood of a time when no one was safe.
HONORS 11 BELL WORK Text Analysis Workshop Read and take notes on pages 236-237. This information will show up on a future quiz!
WHAT FUELS A MOB? Begin thinking about this question as we read through Act I of The Crucible. Can you make any connections to modern society or current events? Homework: Complete Act I (and questions) by our next class meeting. Be ready for a quiz!
ACT I QUESTIONS 1. How might comments like the ones that Mrs. Putnam makes in lines 158-166 contribute to a sense of hysteria among the townsfolk? 2. According to the stage directions in lines 206-208, why does Putnam continue to talk about witches? 3. Why might Abigail resist Proctor’s decision to end their affair? 4. As Proctor responds to Abigail’s insults about Elizabeth in lines 457-463, what do his words and stage directions suggest about his view of his marriage? 5. How might Parris’s attitude harm his ability to deal effectively with the witchcraft scare?