The play begins in a small town during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
The play takes place in Salem, Massachusetts. The event takes place in the Puritan society. The community is portrayed as superstitious and gullible. The Crucible is based on a true story so the setting is real.
The Crucible starts out in the bedroom of Betty Parris, the sick daughter of the towns preacher Samuel Parris. The village people began to spread the rumor that witchcraft is the cause of Bettys illness. The Reverend John Hale is sent for by Mr. Parris to find out what is happening, because Hale is a investigator on strange events involving witchcraft. Samuel accuses and questions Abigail Williams, his niece, of dancing and chanting around a fire in the woods with Betty and his slave, Tituba to conjure up evil sprits. She denies these claims and says that she and the other girls were only dancing. The other girls are then threatened by Abigail to keep them from telling what really happened in the forest. Later in the scene, John Proctor enters the room, and Abigail talks of their affair.
Then, Tibuta confesses to witchcraft after she is interrogated by Parris and Hale under the threat of being whipped to death. She is only sentenced to a short term in prison because she accuses Sarah Good and Goody Osborne of the crime. Betty and Abigail also confess witchcraft, and start accusing almost all of the women from town to
John Proctor comes home from working in his fields to his wife, Elizabeth. They argue about his affair with Abigail.
Mary Warren, their house servant, enters. She tells of a death sentence for one of the accused witches. She gives Elizabeth a is a small doll made to represent a person.
Mary tells them that Elizabeth's name has been mentioned in the court and goes to bed. John and Elizabeth continue to argue. John Hale appears at their doorway. He is traveling to each house, talking to those who were mentioned in court, trying to find out more information about them. John says that he knows that Abigail and the other girls are not telling the truth. Two Salem citizens that have had wives arrested show up and a short time passes before a party comes to arrest Elizabeth.