The Crucible

The Crucible

The Crucible tells of the devastation wrought in early Salem when some restless
young girls claim that witches are taking over the village. Act I begins in the spring of
1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, with Reverend Samuel Parris, the petty, irritable and
mostly unliked minister. He is worried about his daughter, Betty. The night before, his
daughter and niece, Abigail, were caught dancing in the nude in the forest with some of
the other town girls. Since this, Betty has slept in what seems like a trance. Thomas
Putnam, a ruthless landowner, and his wife Ann, arrive with news that their daughter is ill
as well. Although Mrs. Putnam is sure that witchcraft is abroad, since Parris? own flesh is
involved, he denies any thoughts of it.
This is when Mary Warren, the Proctor?s present servant, enters, announcing that
talk of witches is all over town. When the girls are left alone, they talk of revealing their
secret of conjuring spirits, but Abigail warns them not to speak a word to anyone. At this
point, John Proctor, a powerful, independent farmer enters the room, speaking briefly with
Abigail about the witchcraft accusations. Abigail begins to speak of a recent affair the two
had,

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