Houghton Mifflin’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a crucible as a sever test. When Author Miller wrote The Crucible, he inflicted many of his characters with harsh crucibles. John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, and Martha Corey all went through crucible s in their lives and throughout the play.
John Proctor endured one of the most difficult crucibles of all the characters. When his wife was arrested he was faced with the harsh test. If Proctor goes to court and testifies for his wife’s innocence and testifies against Abigail, he will be convicted of lechery. Despite this, Proctor faces his crucible with courage and dignity and is willing to face the consequences. Proctor says, “Good then her [Abigail] saltiness is done with. We [John and Mary Warren] will slide together into our pit; you [Mary Warren] will tell them what you know” (Miller 80).
Proctor is once again faced with a crucible at the end of the play. After being jailed for lechery, Proctor is faced with a difficult dilemma. He can save himself from death, but he has to confess to witchcraft, and sign a written confession that will be posted on the church door. Proctor decides to sign it, but at the last minute he snatches the confession away from Danforth and tears it up in fear that he will not set a good example for his children. “His [Proctor] breast heaving, his eyes staring, Proctor tears the paper and crumples it, and he is weeping in fury but erect” (Miller 144).
Elizabeth, like John, goes through crucibles of her own. Elizabeth is plagued by the aftermath of her husband’s affair with Abigail. She is forced to try and have to deal with this tragedy, and learn to love and trust John again. When Elizabeth finds out that John was alone with Abigail she says, “John, if it were not me that you must go hurt, would you falter now? I think not” (Miller 54).
In The Crucible, John Proctor initially portrayed a sinful man whom had an affair, struggling to prove to his wife that he should be trusted again. The dishonesty of the betrayal of Elizabeth and his marriage to her changed, though, by the end of the play. This transition in Proctor’s character showed he transformed from a deceitful man and husband, to one whom was true to himself as well as ...
Elizabeth then loses all faith in Proctor.
Martha Corey also went through a tough crucible in Act III. Like many of the accused, Martha refused to confess to witchcraft in fear of death. When asked if she was a witch or not, Martha said, “I am innocent of a witch. I know not what a witch is” (Miller).
Martha did not confess to witchcraft so she could keep her name.
The characters in The Crucible went through many crucibles. John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, and Martha Corey went through many trials and tribulations. These characters are perhaps the most courageous character in the play, for it is they acted when faced with a crucible.