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HELP! Symbolism title of The Crucible...?

Explain the SYMBOLISM title of THE CRUCIBLE. How does Miller exploit the SYMBOLISM to express the message of the play?


A crucible is a container made of a substance that can resist great heat ; a crucible is also defined as a severe test. Within the context of the play the term takes on a new meaning: not only is the crucible a test, but a test designed to bring about change or reveal an individual’s true character. The witch trials serve as a metaphorical crucible, which burns away the characters’ outer shells to reveal their true intentions and character beneath. Throughout the play, Miller carefully peels away the layers of each character so that the audience not only can identify the character’s motivation, but also can reevaluate the character through his or her actions. In other words, the audience observes the character as he or she is tested, and the audience ultimately determines if he or she passes the test.

1 Answer

  • Diana
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's the literal meaning of a pot that can withstand high temperatures and so is used for melting metals -- what Tibula would have used in the woods to go along with her spell.

    Then there's the figurative or symbolic meaning: A severe test or trial. That doesn't mean a court trial. Think of how various characters are "tested" and put on trial for their willingness to stand up for their beliefs. The entire town is put through various trials and tests, from Abigail and her friends, to those accused of being witches, to those doing the accusing, to those in authority. They pass or fail in varying degrees. John Procter passes with flying colors.

    I've all but given it away! It's up to you to figure out what the "tests" and "trials" (not literally the court trial) are. Personal tests.

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