The Crucible is a fictional retelling of events in American history
surrounding the Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century, yet is
as much a product of the time in which Arthur Miller wrote it, the
early 1950s, as it is description of Puritan society.
At that particular time in the 1950s, when Arthur Miller wrote the
play the American Senator McCarthy who chaired the ‘House Un-American
Activities Committee’ was very conscious of communism and feared its
influence in America. It stopped authors’ writings being published in
fear of them being socialist sympathisers.
Miller was fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials and that human beings
were capable of such madness. In the 1950s the audience would have
seen the play as a parallel between the McCarthy trials and the Salem
Trials. A 21st century audience would look at the play from the
perspective of needless hysteria and accusations and would be amazed
that human nature when put into these situations reacts the way it
does in the play. In modern time we are able to appreciate the play
without being concerned with the parallels of McCarthyism.
Although my selected scene is only three-quarters way through the play
it is very conclusive in the way that it shows the ability of the
court to accept the condemnations of people looking for vengeance and
the girls’ lies throughout the trials.
The historical background to the play, although quite old still
relates to human life and behaviour. It shows the willingness of human
beings to blame anyone but themselves. It enforces the belief that
humans are not ready to take responsibility for their actions and
would rather find a scapegoat than be righteous.
The key scene i...
... middle of paper ...
...willing to do to get her
way. Only the girls, Mary and Proctor know to what extent Abigail can
manipulate a situation in her favour as well as people.
Even when she appeals for help from Danforth they continue to echo
her. E.g. Mary: “Mr. Danforth!”
Abigail and the girls: “Mr. Danforth!” This may be because Abigail
does not want Mary to tell Danforth the truth and Abigail’s plot. This
therefore prevents Danforth from finding out about Abigail and her
manipulation of the other girls.
Mary has to show great willpower to oppose Abigail; e.g. “I have no
power.” In the stage directions it shows Mary summoning all her
determination from within to stand up to Abigail.
In this scene we can see how powerful Miller’s characters can be.
Our first impression of Abigail is accurate because she is clearly
capable of sending people to death to save herself.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Arthur Miller's The Crucible Arthur Miller demonstrates the familiarities of the life he lived in the 1950's and of everyday life we live in through his plays. He communicates through his work to the way people are in society. The extreme witch hysteria deteriorated the rational and emotional stability of its citizens. This exploited the population's weakest qualities, and insecurities. The obvious breakdown in social order led to the tragedy that saw innocent souls hang on the accusation of witchcraft.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
2613 words (7.5 pages)
- Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written in 1952 by the twentieth century American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-.) Miller was born in New York and educated at the University of Michigan where he began to write plays. Most of Miller's plays are set in contemporary America and on the whole offer a realistic portrayal of life and society and the theme of self-realization is re-current e.g. John Proctor in 'The Crucible'. 'The Crucible' was the third play Miller wrote. It is a play about the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
3343 words (9.6 pages)
- Arthur Miller's The Crucible Arthur Miller individualises characters through their style of speech in many ways. Abigail Williams, one of the main characters, is a very attractive young lady, as portrayed in the text. However, her personality is bitter spiteful and vengeful. This has been shown by the way Miller individualises her, through her speech. Abigail is very bossy and has a lot of authority; "Uncle, the rumour of witchcraft is all about: I think you'd best go down and deny it yourself.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
1463 words (4.2 pages)
- Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was brought before a committee in 1956 to answer charges of 'communist sympathy' and to name the people he had had meetings with up to twenty years before. Liberal writer, film directors, actors and actresses were all called before the committee. The committee often had lists of names of people who had attended meetings yet they still forced witnesses to recite names, to see if they would comply and give the right names.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
942 words (2.7 pages)
- Arthur Miller's The Crucible The Crucible is based on the 'Salem Witch Trials' in 1692. In act 1 the audience find out that John Procter had an affair with Abigail Williams, who was dancing in the woods, and that she still has feelings for him. When John denies their love Abigail starts accusing people of witchcraft. Act 2 is when we meet Elizabeth Procter who gets arrested on suspicion of witchcraft. In act 3 John goes to court trying to free his wife and the others but without much luck as he gets accused of mixing with the devil.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
1233 words (3.5 pages)
- Arthur Miller's The Crucible Before anyone says anything, drama is presented to the reader in a visual way. We see the first trial being held in non-other that the village Church; A place of holy gathering for the whole village. The Church being used, as a courtroom would usually seem absurd, this shows the audience that this is no ordinary trial, and what is going to happen is very important. Martha Corey is being accused of witchcraft. The mere fact that she is being accused of such a crime is dramatic, but then her husband Giles Corey bursts in interrupting telling of the accusations being false and accumulating of greed and jealousy.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
2453 words (7 pages)
- Honor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Honor can be defined by how one holds them in the public eye. Others may say that honor is how you live your life when none can see your actions. However defined honor can play major roles in how a person will act in a given situation. The Crucible by Arthur Miller has excellent examples of how honor can manipulate people’s decisions in times of importance. John proctor holds his moral standpoint and does not falter into the temptations of selfishness, while Elizabeth would describe honor as how a person lives their lives.... [tags: Crucible Arthur Miller]
1038 words (3 pages)
- The Moral of Arthur Miller's The Crucible In the 17th century a group of Puritans from England immigrated to America to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. The white settlers arrived in New England in 1620, and Salem, Massachusetts had been in existence for about forty years by 1692. Salem developed as a theocracy. This was based on the coexistence of religious prayer and hard work. Entertainment, such as dancing, or any enjoyment at all was perceived as a sin. The isolation of the Puritan society created a rigid social system that did not allow for any variation in lifestyle.... [tags: The Crucible Witchcraft Arthur Miller Essays]
3010 words (8.6 pages)
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller John Proctor says, I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem. Discuss the real evil in Salem, who contributed to it and their motives who do you blame the most. John Proctor says, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem." Discuss the real evil in Salem, who contributed to it and their motives who do you blame the most. Before I begin to tell you my opinion on who was to blame, and my reasoning for saying so, I will give you a brief insight into the real point of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]
4988 words (14.3 pages)
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller 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. Act 1 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.... [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Play]
1029 words (2.9 pages)