The Crucible Literary Analysis

7 July 2016

1. The Crucible is not so much a dramatization of “witch hunting” as it is an illumination of human weakness, hypocrisy, and vindictiveness. Examine the play for all three elements, providing solid support from the text.

2. Explain how The Crucible not only attacks the weaknesses of Puritanism, yet also highlights some of its finest strengths and values in the lives of individual characters.

The Crucible Literary Analysis Essay Example

3. The play uses the “trial” situation as a dominant metaphor for the action of the entire play. Discuss various “trials” dramatized in the play, noting the appropriateness of this metaphor to the overall work.

4. Much of the force of the play derives from irony, or a pointed discrepancy between appearance and reality. Identify at least three instances of irony in the play, and explain how each contributes to the overall effectiveness of the drama.

5. Among the many subjects explored in The Crucible are guilt, hypocrisy, the nature of authority, courage, justice, and hysteria. What is the single most important subject in the play? (You may choose one not on this list, as well.) Support your choice with specific reasons and references to the text.

6. A dynamic character is one who changes significantly as a result of events, conflicts, or other forces. Some of the dynamic characters in The Crucible include John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Mary Warren, and John Hale. Pick one character, and trace the change he/she undergoes throughout the play. Be specific in explaining both HOW and WHY this character changes.

Rubric Literary Analysis Essay: The Crucible

8-9This essay has a clear thesis that is clearly argued and supported. Quotations and examples are used effectively to support arguments. Paragraphs are well-organized and the introduction and conclusion are effective not repetitive.

6-7This essay has a clear thesis but is not thoroughly developed. Some sloppiness is evident in the format for quotations, their accuracy, or in the writing. The argument is not clearly presented and/or supported. The introduction/conclusion is not effective in opening and closing the body.

4.5 The essay does not have a real thesis but does address some issue in the works.


This essay has a thesis, but the writing is poor. Use of text is adequate, but at times inaccurate.

2.3 This essay has no thesis and is poorly written. Quotations and examples are sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately presented.

0-1This essay has no thesis or represents a misreading of the texts. The argument is not well thought out and/or is superficial.


-0Sophisticated sentence structures and minimal errors in usage/grammar

-1Simplistic sentence structures and/or occasional errors (one or two errors using 2nd person, contractions, run-ons,comma splices, citations, format etc.)

-2Significant and frequent sentence errors (more than two errors using 2nd person, contractions, run-ons, comma splices, citations, format etc.)

-3Difficult to read because of the frequency of writing errors.

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