The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. The play, set in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, examines the accusations of witchcraft that led to the trials and executions of 20 people. The Crucible is often seen as an allegory for the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s.
If you’re looking for some inspirational, thought-provoking quotes from The Crucible, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 50+ The Crucible quotes as they were spoken by the play’s leading characters.
Table of Contents
- The Crucible John Proctor Quotes
- The Crucible Reverend Hale Quotes
- The Crucible Abigail Williams Quotes
- The Crucible Judge Danforth Quotes
- The Crucible Elizabeth Proctor Quotes
- Interesting Facts about The Crucible
The Crucible John Proctor Quotes
Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!
Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!
I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.
I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another. I have no tongue for it.
I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. But I wilted, and, like a Christian, I confessed. Confessed! Some dream I had must have mistaken you for God that day.
We vote by name in this society, not by acreage.
Spare me! You forget nothin’ and forgive nothin’. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches around your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted, every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when I come into this house!
We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!
Peace. It is a providence, and no great change; we are only what we always were, but naked now.
A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face… for them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud.
It is rare for people to be asked the question which puts them squarely in front of themselves.
God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!
Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem—vengeance is walking Salem.
You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tituba, I am John Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!
A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg you – see her what she is…She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance…
Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Abby.
You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!
There are them that will swear to anything before they’ll hang, have you never thought of that?
I will fall like an ocean on that court!
I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man.
Some dream I had must have mistaken you for God that day. But you’re not, and let you remember it!
The Crucible Reverend Hale Quotes
Here is all the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated. In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Here are all your familiar spirits – your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day. Have no fear now – we shall find him out if he has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!
Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.
Life, woman, life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it. I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess. Let him give his lie. Quail not before God’s judgment in this, for it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride. Will you plead with him? I cannot think he will listen to another.
I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves. There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!
I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.
No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack up on this village. There is too much evidence now to deny it.
There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court – the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!
HALE, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit.
What victory would the Devil have to win a soul already bad? It is the best the Devil wants, and who is better than the minister.
In God’s name, sir, stop here; Send him home and let him come again with a lawyer.
Nurse, though our hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court- the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!
cleave not to faith when faith brings blood.
The Crucible Abigail Williams Quotes
I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!
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!
Let either of you breathe a word or the edge of a word… and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.
My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!
I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine.
The Crucible Judge Danforth Quotes
You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.
We burn a hot fire here; It melts down all concealment.
I should hang ten thousand that dared to rise against the law.
A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between.
You will confess yourself or you will hang.
I think those must be both arrested in contempt, Sir.
The Crucible Elizabeth Proctor Quotes
I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you. I never thought you but a good man, John – only somewhat bewildered.
It is her dearest hope, John, I know it. There be a thousand names; why does she call mine? There be a certain danger in calling such a name – I am no Goody Good that sleeps in ditches, nor Osburn, drunk and half-witted. She’d dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it. She thinks to take my place, John.
I never knew such goodness in the world.
Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. “More weight,” he says. And died… It were a fearsome man, Giles Corey.
He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him.
It is not my soul, John, it is yours. Only be sure of this, for I know it no Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it. I have read my own heart this three month, John. I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery… I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me! Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love.
The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.
Interesting Facts about The Crucible
Here are some interesting facts about The Crucible that may even surprise you. Enjoy.
- There Were Some Minor Changes – Author Arthur Miller mostly stuck to the facts at what happened back in 1692 in Salem, however allowed himself to make a few changes. He changed Abigail’s age from 11 to 17, and also wrote about a failed romance between her and John Proctor.
- Mimicking The Era’s Speech Patterns – Arthur Miller went to Salem and read the original testimony of the trial in order to get the nuances of 17th-century speech. With time, he started getting used to that speech and even got to like it, and so tried to write the play as authentic as possible even with the speech as back in the 1700s.
- The First Production in Broadway – January 1953 was when The Crucible opened on Broadway. However, it was not well received. Actors were facing forward without interacting with each other made it unusual for spectators who felt it was to stylized and lacked emotional depth. With that said, The Crucible won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1953. A year later, a newer production was up and from then on it became a hit.
- The First Screenplay of the Play – During the 1950s, Hollywood refused to do something with the play, so the first film adaptation to The Crucible play was a joint Franco-East German production that was directed by Raymond Rouleau. Jean-Paul Sartre was the on to adapt it for the big screen. In 1996, The Crucible saw an American remake starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder, with Arthur Miller writing the screenplay himself.
- Salem Became a Tourist Destination – Today, Salem is filled with wax museums and gift shops, but that is thanks to the play, as put it on the map and started a wave of tourists visiting the place. Today, Salem makes over $100 million a year thanks to tourism.