Arthur Miller uses the title of his play "The Crucible" as a metaphor constantly throughout the text. A crucible is a container used to heat metals at a high temperature so the metal can be cast, often using intense pressure to do so. Crucibles are often also used to remove impurities from a substance, so that only the pure matter remains. The relevance of the title is apparent in many of the themes and issues of the play, and is demonstrated through striking imagery and the actions of characters that Miller portrays to us.
The relevance of the play's title becomes evident during the first act, as we gradually piece together the information concerning the girls dancing. The kettle viewed by Reverend Parris, an argumentative and unreasonable man in his middle forties, mirrors a crucible. We are told that the girls had made a brew that contained a little frog and blood.
This concoction was viewed by the characters involved as a potent, fearsome mixture and this signifies the beginning of the Salem tragedy. It seems that from this 'brew' a more sinister force is released, or metaphorically speaking, the impurities are released due to the aid of a crucible.
The dancing and the contents of the little pot seem to fuel the rumours, lies and tragedy of Salem. Suspicion soon engulfs the community and the little privacy that once existed suddenly shatters. Privacy was quickly interpreted to mean that people had some terrible fault to hide and there was an intense pressure for neighbours to reveal each other's sins. Here is evidence of how the play's title is reflected in the actions and words of the characters.
In fact, Reverend Parris makes an ironic comment that is closely linked with the The Crucible:
REVEREND PARRIS: 'Why, Rebecca, we may...