“The Crucible” is a play by Arthur Miller that presents a version of the events of the Salem witch trials in which hysteria took over an entire town causing the deaths of many innocent people. The subject matter is heavy and may be a bit intimidating if you are required to create a character analysis essay. Here are some basic instructions that can help you through it.
You may have already done so and even feel insulted by this instruction. There are, however, other people who look for shortcuts in everything they do and this instruction is meant for them. The play gives you more insight than a summary can and you are depriving yourself of some of the most important aspects of it. Make notes as you go through the play so you won’t have to keep reading it over and over.
Once you have read the play the study guide will be on use to you. It can help point out connections that you were not immediately aware of. In addition to this you can find questions that prepare you for the ones you may be presented with in an exam. Some character analysis is almost always present in the guide and this can be used as a stepping stone into your essay.
Having compiled your notes from the play and referred to the study guide you will have enough information to begin writing your own character sketches. This is just a superficial exercise at this point. Write everything you already know about them.
Once you have a basic sketch you can begin to look for hidden meaning in the actions of the characters. There is a great deal of religious and superstitious imagery to be mindful of as you do this. If something seems significant but you’re not sure, search it online, you might be onto something.
At this point you should have compiled your basic character analysis. You can begin to connect the body of your essay together and create the introduction and conclusion. These are fairly simple and will follow the format you have grown accustomed to in your previous essays.
No character analysis is impossible and while differences in time period and culture can raise issues, in general “The Crucible’ is one of the easier plays to digest. You’ll do fine.