The Crucible: Key Quotes

The Crucible: Key Quotes

Here are some key quotations from Arthur Miller?s chilling play ?The Crucible?. They are organised by Act and character, and they give a brief context of where each one occurs in the story. Be sure to always do this when making your own lists of quotes too ? so that they make sense when you look back over them and you can analyse them on a deeper level. The list below is suitable for anyone studying the play, particularly those at GCSE, IGCSE and A Level (CIE / Cambridge, OCR, WJEC, Eduqas, CCEA, Edexcel and AQA exam boards).

Thanks for reading! If you find this document useful, you can take a look at our full course on ?The Crucible? here:

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ABIGAIL: ?She hates me, uncle ? for I would not be her slave? / ?a lying, cold, sniveling woman? (Talking to Parris about Elizabeth, relates to themes of jealousy, hatred, power, suspicion.)

PARRIS: ?I saw it!? (Rev. Parris saw the girls dance in circles while they were singing. He thought they were summoning the Devil.)

PARRIS: ?She called the Devil?? (Rev. Parris finding out what really happened in the forest, expressing fear and surprise.)

ABIGAIL: ?She makes me drink blood? (About Tituba ? Blood is used for sacrificial routines that cause bad spirits to enter your body. This quote can also be used as evidence that Tituba is a witch.)

PUTNAM: ?I?ll clap a writ on you? (Putnam is mad at Proctor because he is farming on Putnam?s land ? as Putnam wants all of his land to himself, a motive which turns into a reason for accusing people wrongfully of witchcraft.)

ABIGAIL: ?She made me do it! She made Betty do it!? (blaming Tituba)

TITUBA: ?shocked and angry: Abby!? (When Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft and bewitching / forcing the girls to take part in dark magic rituals ? the stage direction ?shocked and angry? suggests that Tituba is innocent, or maybe that she is acting ? as a slave she knows she is likely to be blamed for anything bad that happens in Salem. Abigail knows that no one will believe Tituba as she is a slave.)

BETTY: ?You drank a charm to kill John Proctor?s wife!? (Betty says that Abigail used a charm to invoke (summon) the Devil, for Proctor?s wife to be killed.)

PARRIS: ?We cannot leap to witchcraft. They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house.? (Rev. Parris is obsessed with his reputation and power, he doesn?t want to lose power so he would rather ignore the accusation of witchcraft than properly deal with it.)

PROCTOR: ?There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly mention God anymore.? (Proctor to Parris)

PARRIS: ?I am not some preaching farmer with a book under my arm; I am a graduate of Harvard College.? (He?s showing off, obsessed with his reputation / power, superiority complex ? Parris to Proctor.)

PARRIS: ?You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!? (Parris to Tituba, relates to themes of slavery and oppression)

PARRIS: ?Your name, it is entirely white in the village, isn?t it?? (Parris to Abigail ? ironic as he knows she has a bad reputation)

PROCTOR: ?known her? (Proctor admits having ?known her? means that he and Abigail have slept together.)

ABIGAIL: ?I never knew what pretense Salem was? I never knew the lying lessons? (Abigail about the inhabitants of Salem, how they all repress their feelings and are dishonest with each other.)

MARY WARREN: ?Abby, we?ve got to tell. Witchery?s a hangin? error.?(Mary tries to get Abigail to confess to dancing in the woods)

MERCY: ?(Mimicking her) They?ll be callin? us Witches, Abby. She means to tell? (Mercy mocks Mary?s fear and also threatens her by saying to Abigail she thinks she?s going to tell on them)

ABIGAIL: ?You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!? (Abigail to Proctor when she reveals their affair)

ABIGAIL: ?I want to open myself! . . . I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!? (At the end of the act after Tituba confesses to Witchcraft Abigail has an hysterical outburst)


HALE: ?Mr Proctor your house is not your church?? (Mr Hale is suspicious of why Proctor doesn?t attend church.)

ELIZABETH: ?Am I accused?? (Abigail accuses Elizabeth in court as she wants to seduce Proctor but he is already married.)

ELIZABETH: ?What signifies a needle?? (The needle inside of a body represents how the person will die, in this case it was Abigail Williams that was ?targeted?.)

PROCTOR: ?There be fourteen women arrested? (There were fourteen women accused of witchcraft.)

ELIZABETH: ?I am accused?(Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft even though she is an honest woman ? it is now a statement instead of the earlier question.)

ELIZABETH: ?The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!?(About Abigail when she learns that she accused her of sticking needles in her belly ? a form of witchcraft.)

PROCTOR: ?I mean to please you Elizabeth?(Proctor saying to Elizabeth that his wife is more important than his reputation.)

PROCTOR: ?it is as though I come into a court when I come into this house? (Proctor thought that everytime he came into the house he has judged Elizabeth as if it was court. )

PROCTOR: ?My wife will never die for me!? goodness will not die for me? (Proctor says this to defend Elizabeth when she?s accused.)


HATHORNE: ?This is contempt, sir, contempt? (Judge Hathorne accusing Francis of being disrespectful to the law.)

HALE: ?What I have heard in her favour, I will not fear to testify in court? (Rev. Hale believes in the power of the court.)

HATHORNE: ?I think those must be both arrested in contempt, sir? (shows how easy the court can be manipulated.)

PROCTOR: ?that woman will never lie, Mr Danforth? (Proctor makes sure that Mr Danforth knows that Elizabeth never lies.)

COREY: ?I cannot give you a name, sir, I cannot? (Giles Corey is an honourable man, unlike the girls, but he is quick to anger and this works against him, leading to his execution)

PROCTOR: ?whore?s vengeance? (The revelation of this truth is significant to our understanding of the character John Proctor ? his individual crisis and conscience and his love for Elizabeth.)

PROCTOR: ?I have made a bell of my honour! I have rung the doom of my good name? (Proctor after he confesses to witchcraft and admits all his sins ? despite not being a witch, being forced to lie)

MARY WARREN: ?It were only sport in the beginning sir, but then the whole world cried ?spirits, spirits!? (Mary explains to Proctor that their witchcraft started out as a game but then became frightening and fanatical.)


JOHN PROCTOR: ?I speak my own sins, I cannot judge another.? ( Proctor refuses to blame or accuse others.)

HALE: ?For he is taken I count myself his murderer?(Rev. Hale realises that his good intentions of destroying witchcraft in the village have only served to fuel the prosecution of good,innocent people like Proctor.)

DANFORTH: ?Why? Do you mean to deny this confession when you are free?? (Danforth is confused about why Proctor is refusing to confess.)

DANFORTH: ?You have not sold your friends-? ( Danforth reassures Proctor that he has not accused his friends.)

PROCTOR: ?You will not use me!? (Proctor is not prepared to confess to save himself, if he confesses his friends will look guilty.)

PROCTOR: ?My honesty is broke, Elizabeth, I am no good man?(Proctor decides to confess and lie to the court to save his life.)

ELIZABETH: ?I have sins of my own to count. It takes a cold wife to prompt lechery? (Elizabeth admits to Proctor that he is not fully to blame for the affair.)

Thanks for reading! If you find this document useful, you can take a look at our full course on ?The Crucible? here:

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