The word "Crucible" has two meanings of significance to this historical play by Arthur Miller. 1. "A metal pot or container heated to high temperatures" or 2. "A severe test or trial." - The second one gives me quite a chill.
Arthur Miller created this play in the 1970s as a response to the behavior of Senator McCarthy and his calling out of everyone of being a communist. Perhaps because of this play, McCarthy's actions have forevermore embarrassingly been called "The McCarthy Witch hunt."
The Crucible is based on a real historical event that shows a particularly cruel and horrible bloodstain on American history. Although the play has a few historical inaccuracies, overall the accuracy of the way it is presented is quite fantastic.
18 people lost their lives in the events depicted in this movie, not in a cinema [remember that] but in real life, on Gallow's Hill.
In short, the history speaks for itself on the horrors that religion can spawn when fanatism, terror, reverence, self-righteousness, and godliness combine in a "crucible." And in the end, the result is always, sadly, the same... terrific cruelty and massive bloodshed.

And so it was,
In the spring of 1692, a settlement of a couple hundred Puritans in Massachussetts were totally unprepared for the impact that their neighborhood tensions and paranoia would have.
And yet, as usual, it started with an innocent game among a group of young girls dancing in the woods. A game that was forbidden, which made it all the more exciting. Faced with the condemnation of the town, the girls suddenly and violently diverted attention from themselves with bizarre behavior and strange accusations. Suddenly it was as if the tiny village exploded. Tensions between families that had brewed for years suddenly erupted into accusations of witchcraft. And from the actions of these little girls, the village of Salem, Massachusettes spiraled into a community gone mad.

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