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The Crucible The Crucible a historical play based on events of the Salem witchcraft trials takes place in the small Puritan village in the colony of Massachusetts in 1692 The witchcraft trials as Miller explains in a prose prologue to the play grew out of the particular moral system of the Puritans which promoted interference in others affairs as well as a repressive code of conduct that frowned on any diversion from norms of behavior The play begins in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris whose daughter Betty lays ill Parris lives with his daughter and his seventeen-year old niece Abigail Williams an orphan who witnessed her parents murder by the Indians Parris has sent for Reverend Hale of Beverly believing his daughters illness stems from supernatural explanations Betty became ill when her father discovered her dancing in the woods with Abigail Tituba the Parris slave from Barbados and several other local girls Already there are rumors that Bettys illness is due to witchcraft but Parris tells Abigail that he cannot admit that he found his daughter and niece dancing like heathen in the forest Abigail says that she will admit to dancing and accept the punishment but will not admit to witchcraft Abigail and Parris discuss rumors about the girls when they were dancing one of the girls was naked and Tituba was screeching gibberish Parris also brings up rumors that Abigails former employer Elizabeth Proctor believes that Abby is immoral Thomas and Ann Putnam arrive and tell Parris that their daughter Ruth is sick Ann Putnam admits that she sent Ruth to Tituba for Tituba knows how to speak to the dead and could find out who murdered her seven children each of whom died during infancy When the adults leave Abigail discusses Bettys illness with Mercy Lewis and Mary Warren the servants of the Putnams and the Proctors respectively Abigail threatens them warning them not to say anything more than
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