The Crucible Essay Prompts

Instructor: Wendy A. Garland

Wendy has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has 10 years experience working in higher education.

This lesson includes essay topics from Arthur Miller's The Crucible. These prompts are arranged by topic and will help teachers design assignments and tests that reflect student understanding of the play.


One of Arthur Miller's best known plays, The Crucible, premiered on Broadway in 1953. It is a direct criticism of the political climate in the U.S. at the time, namely Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, and their excessive and unreasonable persecution of American citizens in name of uncovering communist threats.

However, Arthur Miller also covers topics and themes such as morality, social justice, history, and gender, all of which remain relevant to this day. He also used some rather clever plot devices which are worthy of attention. So with that in mind, let us have a look at some essay topics and delve deeper into the heart of The Crucible.

Essay Prompts: History

  • Discuss why Arthur Miller changed some historical facts about the Salem Witch Trials, and invented some others. Examine how these changes and inventions affect the play, and discuss their importance.
  • Discuss the Salem Witch Trials. Discuss its origins, and the social factors that prolonged it. Consider the fact that while there existed communists during Senator McCarthy's activities, there were no witches nor any witchcraft in Salem during the trials.
  • Discuss other historical events that resemble the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism. Examine as expansive a timespan as you like, and give specific details to defend your examples. Remember, your examples do not have to be limited to politics.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account