The Crucible Act 1 Reading Questions

As the play begins, why has Reverend Parris sent for a doctor? His daughter Betty is “sick” – as if in a coma
What advice does the doctor send back? That he can find no medical reason for her illness, and he should look for an “unnatural reason.”
What does Reverend Parris question Abigail about? If her name in the village is “white” – meaning, is her reputation good.
What is Parris ‘main concern? His reputation as a minister and material possessions.
What/Who did Parris see in the woods the night before? He saw Abigail, Betty and other girls dancing in the woods.
What has Elizabeth Proctor said about Abigail? Elizabeth knows that Abigail and her husband had an affair, so she fired her from their service. Abigail believes that Elizabeth has spread “rumors” about the affair.
Why does Abigail say she was dismissed by the Proctors’? She claims that she was dismissed because she refused to be treated like a slave. She calls Elizabeth a “…bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman…”
What rumors have circulated about Betty Parris? What proof later occurs that “proves” that she is a witch? Villagers say they saw her flying over a barn. When Betty has a fit as people downstairs sing a psalm (a religious song), Mrs. Putnam claims that Betty cannot bear to hear the Lord’s name because she is a witch.
Why did Mrs. Putnam contact Tituba? She has lost 7 children in childbirth and wants to know who is “killing” her babies.
Who does Abigail accuse of conjuring spirits at this point? Tituba
What does Betty Parris reveal about what happened in the woods? Betty reveals that Abigail drank blood as a charm to kill Elizabeth.
What threat does Abigail make to the other girls? She threatens to “…come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” In other words, she threatens to hurt them physically if they tell.
What happened in the past between John Proctor and Abigail? How do they feel about it now? They had an affair when she worked at the Proctors’. John has put a stop to it, but Abigail still pursues him.
What is the function of Rebecca Nurse in the play? Rebecca is a voice of reason and common sense. She believes that the girls will tire of their “game” and that they are in a “silly season – she believes the girls are going through a stage.
How does John Proctor feel about Reverend Parris? He does not like him. He dislikes Parris’ sermons because he …”hardly ever mentions God anymore.” John doesn’t like Parris’ concern for material things, pointing out his preoccupation for the deed to the house that the village has provided for the minister.
What is the dispute between John Proctor and Thomas Putnam? They are fighting about land and boundaries.
Why is Reverend Hale in Salem? He has been called by Parris to stop the rumors of witchcraft.
What does Giles Corey reveal to Reverend Hale? He is worried because his wife reads “strange” books at night. One night he couldn’t pray until she stopped reading a book. He suspects witchcraft.
When Abigail is questioned by Reverend Hale, who does she blame? What proof does she offer? She blames Tituba. For proof, she claims that Tituba has caused her to laugh during prayer. Parris confirms that Abigail does indeed laugh during prayer. To then, this is proof.
What ultimatum is given to Tituba? Confess to witchcraft, bless the Lord, and name others who are witches with her (or she will be hanged).
Who does Tituba accuse of being a witch? Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn
Why does Abigail start accusing people at this point? When Tituba saves herself by “confessing” Abigail decides to do the same.
Why does Betty Parris start accusing people? She follows Tituba’s and Abigail’s example.

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