The Crucible tells of the devastation wrought in early Salem when some restless.
young girls claim that witches are taking over the village. Act I begins in the spring of.
1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, with Reverend Samuel Parris, the petty, irritable and.
mostly unliked minister. He is worried about his daughter, Betty. The night before, his.
daughter and niece, Abigail, were caught dancing in the nude in the forest with some of.
the other town girls. Since this, Betty has slept in what seems like a trance. Thomas.
Putnam, a ruthless landowner, and his wife Ann, arrive with news that their daughter is ill.
as well. Although Mrs. Putnam is sure that witchcraft is abroad, since Parris" own flesh is.
involved, he denies any thoughts of it. .
This is when Mary Warren, the Proctor's present servant, enters, announcing that.
talk of witches is all over town. When the girls are left alone, they talk of revealing their.
secret of conjuring spirits, but Abigail warns them not to speak a word to anyone. At this.
point, John Proctor, a powerful, independent farmer enters the room, speaking briefly with.
Abigail about the witchcraft accusations. Abigail begins to speak of a recent affair the two.
had, though John denies any love being present now. She angers him with cruel.
references to his wife and their conversation is interrupted as Betty begins to scream and.
the others return.
A cranky Giles Corey and gentle Rebecca Nurse are the next two characters.
introduced. Rebecca tries to soothe the upset child, antagonizing the Putnams by not.
getting overly excited by the girl's hysteria. An argument then breaks out between.
Proctor and the Putnams, leading to evidence that Proctor dislikes Parris's fiery sermons.
and greed. Next to arrive is the Reverend John Hale, with his books, energetically.
proposing the whole witchcraft idea. He listens to the Putnams and even to the old.
Corey's suspicions his wife reads to much. Hale is shocked to learn of the girl's dances in.