Where are some of the most compelling examples of "crucible" in the text?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, I would say that Giles Corey's testimony in Act III is probably the strongest demonstration of "the crucible."  Proctor's confession and his recantation is also a moment where the true definition of "a crucible" is evident.  Yet, for me, the pressure, the heat, and searing intensity of the moment are all on display when Corey is pressured by the court to divulge the name of his informant.  His desire to "not want to bring harm to another" is highly relevant in this instant, in this moment.  It is a crucible because it is a test, one that has to be endured in the most trying of conditions.  The painful element of this moment, where standing and representing principled and ethical conduct, results in the most brutal of ends only adds to this moment of what it means to be immersed in a "crucible."  I would also see this in Proctor's confession, in that the crucible- like elements for him would be wishing to be with his wife and wishing to be in a life so very different from the one he is living.  His recanting of this confession is another instant where the elements of a crucible, such as pressure, heat, and intensity of an instant, are on display when Proctor refuses to sign his name.  The entire "Because it is my name" speech is one where there is a great deal of "Crucible- like" elements as it demonstrates what it means to, again, stand for ethical conduct in a world that does not validate it.  For me, these two moments represent what it means to exist in a "crucible" and are representative of the drama's title.