A crucible is a container which must undergo strong conditions to become what it is. So symbolically, the characters in the play transform as the play progresses. An example of a character who undergoes a test and passed it is John Proctor. The test imposed on Proctor was when he had the choice of "confessing" to the witchcraft trials or not to confess and die. Initially, he chose not to confess because he was an upright man, who did not want to fall for all this nonsensical fraud created by Abigail Williams and he is, after all, the voice of reason. However, he soon changes his mind and accepts defeat by "confessing" to the trials. When Danforth requests Proctor to sign his name for all of Salem to see, Proctor is horrified and immediately withdraws his "confession" for he rather die in honor than live in shame. In this way, although not obvious, Proctor passes the test of not falling prey to Abigail's manipulation. He therefore has earned the respect and sympathy of the audience for his rather modern ways and intelligent and honorable way of thinking.