Crucible overture

definition of overture an introduction to something more substantial
what is the specific setting of the play? bedroom in home of Rev. Samuel Parris, Salem, Massachusetts, Spring 11692
List facts about Parris and the Puritans in general 1. “At the time of these events, Parris was in his middle forties.”2. “They did not celebrate Christmas, and a holiday from work meant only that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.”
List Miller’s personal opinions about Parris and the Puritans in general 1. “To the European world, the whole province was a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics…”2. “There was a good supply of ne’er-do-wells in Salem”3. “It was also, in my opinion, one of the things that John Proctor would rebel against….”
How are the people of Salem characterized? As a sect of fanatics.They follow a strict and religious lifestyle.People of Salem are hypocrites. They left home to escape persecution, yet practice it against Native Americans.Instruct everyone to live a strict moral code.
How do the Puritans view the world around them? Through their own theological views
What does Miller cite as reasons for the witch hunts? 1. to be “a preserve of manifestation of the panic which set among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom”2. “A long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins.”
What purpose does the overture serve? 1. provides relevant and interesting background information on events that occurred during Salem witch trials.2. Gives us a history of the events, along with crucial information on the mindset and attitudes of the Puritan people at this time.3. If we didn’t have this information, we’d dismiss events as a bunch of crazy people, instead Miller helps us to understand Puritans has a dangerous combination of beliefs.4. Miller helps us to understand why so many would so cruelly accuse their neighbors of crimes they didn’t commit.5. Overture provides information on their culture, society, beliefs, religion and the lead-up to the trials themselves.
What were the Puritans beliefs? 1. belief in the actual existence of the devil and his influence though witchcraft.2. No way to atone for or purge their sins and grievances.
How did the Puritans feel when they did and felt bad things in their lives? They felt guilty for it, but had no confessions, or atoning for those sins. They didn’t have a way to work out those sins in a healthy way.
What circumstances created the witch trials? a festering of the sins of the Puritans, and a belief in the devil
The trials provided a place for the Puritans to do what 2 things? 1. a place to openly confess their sins 2. a reason not be held accountable for those sins, because they blamed them on the witches and the devil.
What is spectral evidence? refers to a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared to him/her witness in a dream at the time the accused person’s physical body was at another location. It was accepted in the courts during the Salem Witch Trials.
What did Miller want to capture in writing The Crucible? For a variety of reasons. At time of release of play, Senator Joe McCarthy was head of a committee to question people about their relationship to Communist sympathizers and the Communist party itself.Miller was able to convey the general idea of ‘witch hunts’ using a metaphor.
From the overture, describe Rev. Parris as a person. 40ish, widowed, no interest in children or any talent with them.People had very little good to say about him—arrogant, believe he was persecuted wherever he went.
Who is Bridget Bishop, and what is her “role” in Salem? owner of a tavern where people play shuffle board in Salem. Her role is to rebel against all of the Puritan ideals.
John Proctor is characterized as a ‘rebel’. Why is this important for us to know before the action begins? Because his ‘rebel’ status can possibly create conflict in the upcoming trials as well as tension between his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, and his ex-housekeeper, Abigail Williams.
What changes had occurred in Salem since its founding? They have ‘unseated the royal government’ and they ‘substituted a junta which was at this moment in power’.
What is a junta? political group that has taken over by force
What did the ‘witch hunt’ allow people in Salem to accomplish? Accomplish “long-held hatreds of neighbors could be openly expressed and vengeance taken”And “old scores could be settled on a plane of heavenly combat between Lucifer and the Lord.”

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