The Crucible is a 1953 play by Arthur Miller. Initially, it was known as The Chronicles of Sarah Good. The Crucible was set in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. It talks of McCarthyism that happened in the late 1600’s whereby the general public and people like Arthur Miller were tried and persecuted. The Crucible exemplifies persecutions during the Salem Witch Trials. The people were convicted and hung without any tangible proof of committing any crime. Persecutions were the order of the day. When a finger was pointed at any individual as a witch, the Deputy Governor Danforth never looked for evidence against them or evidence that incriminated them; he ordered them to be hanged. This can be seen through his words “Hang them high over the town! Who weeps for those, weeps for corruption!” (1273), the people were persecuted aimlessly. The four main characters in the play, John Proctor, Abigail Adams, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris, are caught in the middle of the witchcraft panic in the religious Salem, Massachusetts in late 1690’s. Persecution is the most important theme in the Crucible, the leaders and citizens of Salem attacks and persecutes one of their own without any tangible evidence against them.
Context: This part of the text is included at the beginning of the drama, telling the audience about Salem and its people. The author explains how a theocracy would lead to a tragedy like the Salem witch-hunts. This is the initial setting and is based on the principle that some people should be included and some excluded from society, according to their religious beliefs and their actions. This is basically the idea that religious passion, taken to extremes, results in tragedy. Miller is saying that even today extremes end up bad- communism, like strict puritans, was restrictive and extreme. It only made people suffer.
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is set in the Puritan theocracy of Salem, Massachusetts in the late 1600’s. The dominant ideology of the time considers the Puritans to be the chosen people, and it assumes that the devil is always lurking to destroy the society. The Puritan values are centered around a commitment to hard work, an attempt to live a modest lifestyle, and a focus on Christian doctrine, including strict adherence to the Ten Commandments. Puritans believe that God is the ultimate judge, and they understand that each individual is accountable to Him for devious behavior. However, as human nature dictates, some citizens feel compelled to examine the lives of neighbors, offering assessments regarding the exploits of others. As various
Throughout Arthur Miller's The Crucible the issues of the 'handing over' of conscience, the divesting of guilt, and the administration of justice are presented to create a masterful drama. The Crucible deals with issues crucial to all people of all time and is therefore a timeless and momentous play.
Authors often have underlying reasons for giving their stories certain themes or settings. Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, The Crucible, is a work of art inspired by actual events as a response to political and moral issues. Set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, The Crucible proves to have its roots in events of the 1950’s and 1960’s, such as the activities of the House Un-American Committee and the “Red Scare.” Though the play provides an accurate account of the Salem witch trials, its real achievement lies in the many important issues of Miller’s time that it dealswith.
The Crucible mocks the way society deals with justice. Salem is torn apart, due to the extent of Abigail's imagination and power. It shows the bias of opinions, as it was shown in the court, and how people tend to choose outcomes that suit them. In the end, injustice thrived upon the souls of the community, leaving many innocent people dead. Justice did not prevail, as the heart behind the case, John Proctor preferred to keep his self-respect and integrity, than live a life of lies.
A crucible is a severe test as of patients or belief, a trial. The play The Crucible is a journey through the trials of many townspeople caused by the superstitious belief of witchcraft. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller progresses and evolves the outlooks and views of the townspeople of Salem and shows how events, people, and catastrophes cause the characters to change their views on whether the people prosecuted were guilty or innocent of witchcraft. Reverend John Hale changes his view, more and more drastically as the play advances, as a result of the events that he underwent and the experiences he had. Soon he had total belief in the innocence of all those convicted and hung in Salem.
The issues of power, that Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, portrays are concerned with, who has the power, the shifts of power that take place and how power can consume people and try to abuse it, for either vengeance, jealously, material gain or sexual desire.
Crucible- a severe test, a hard trial or also could be define as a pot for melting metals. A severe trail could be as other then a physical it also could be mentally a severe trial like person verses self. In The Crucible, Miller reflects the theme that pressure can force people from there can force their morals. The characters in The Crucible have morals that they must up hold to be accepted into the town and church. It is a struggle to keep these values when there are moral hazards like desires, greed, hate, and obsession.
Throughout the drama, The Crucible, the characters are faced with chilling choices as they maneuver through a world that has lost its moral compass. The crucibles, the serious tests, of their dearly held values put them in the position of having to figure out what is right and true in a world turned upside down. The value of truth is tested when lies are rewarded and truth brings suffering, shame and the scaffold of the gallows. The value of justice is challenged by a system that comes to be based on coerced confessions, unsubstantiated charges and self-serving political scheming. The value of love, be it of husband and wife or of friends and community, is put to the test where true love is exemplified by fatal choices.
Life as a human is dictated by an inborn hunger or purpose, and people, in general, will act on this hunger for their own personal gain in their individual ways. This hunger, be it for wealth, land, love, power, revenge, or pride, can, and will be the undoing or failing of all mankind as Miller so clearly points out in his play 'The Crucible';. This essay will explore the motives of characters within the play and even the motives of Arthur Miller himself and therefore show how conflict stems from certain recognisable human failings including those mentioned above, fear, and hysteria.
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves.” Most people show what they want others to see, but people with ethical integrity will always follow what they believe and do whatever it takes. Many characters in The Crucible show their true colors and what it means to have moral strength. Arthur Miller portrayed moral strength in many of the characters in an appreciable way.
The Crucible is a play which brings to our attention many timeless issues. The nature of good and evil, power and its corruption, honour and integrity and our tendency to create scapegoats for all manner of problems are all brought up through the course of the play - sometimes in very dramatic fashion.
The Crucible is a play with many underlying messages and themes. One of which is the idea of power. Power is a very important term in this play in that whoever holds the power, holds the fates of others. The hysteria within Salem has directly effected society. Everything has turned upside down and has gotten distorted. Arthur Miller is telling us that all the power in Salem is given to those who are corrupt and their abuse of it is directly shown through: the actions of Abigail throughout the play, the corruption and desires of Parris, as well as the witch trials held by Judge Danforth.
Even though The Crucible is not historically correct, nor is it a perfect allegory for anti-Communism, or as a faithful account of the Salem trials, it still stands out as a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance, hysteria, power and authority is able to tear a community apart. The most important of these is the nature of power, authority and its costly, and overwhelming results. “But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or against it,” says Danforth conceitedly. With this antithesis, Miller sums up the attitude of the authorities towards the witch trials that if one goes against the judgement of the court they are essentially breaking their relationship with God. Like everyone else in Salem, Danforth draws a clear line to separate the world into black and white. The concurrent running of the “Crucible” image also captures the quintessence of the courtroom as Abigial stirs up trouble among the people that have good reputation and loving natures in society. In a theocratic government, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the Devil.