“The Crucible” Part Two (The Overture)


While we read I want you to think of these big questions. At the end, I would like you to pick one to write an essay about. We (meaning you can contribute, too!) will add some more questions as we read.

  1. Why did Arthur Miller title his play “The Crucible?”
  2. Why did Miller write this play when he did (1950s)?
  3. Do you think something like this could ever happen again?
  4. Who is the “hero” in this play?

READ THE OVERTURE (Easier said than done. This is a difficult part of the drama, mainly because of the language used. Take your time, but try not to get too hung up on all the words you don’t know.Remember your research. It should help fill in the gaps from what you don’t understand while reading “The Overture.”)

Look up the words below before you begin and use them as a reference. Add these vocabulary words to a new set on Quizlet. Pick 7 additional words you come across while you read that you don’t know. This will take your Quizlet set #2 to 20 words.


  1. Crucible
  2. Overture
  3. Inert
  4. Villainous
  5. Creed
  6. Predilection
  7. Marauded
  8. Heathen
  9. Innate
  10. Rankle
  11. Parochial
  12. Homage
  13. Paradox


Summary – “The play is set in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692; the government is a theocracy—rule by God through religious officials. Hard work and church consume the majority of a Salem resident’s time. Within the community, there are simmering disputes over land. Matters of boundaries and deeds are a source of constant, bitter disagreements.” (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crucible/section1.rhtml)


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