In 1953, American playwright and essayist, Arthur Miller, wrote a famous play called The Crucible. It was loosely based on the Salem Witch Trials that happened in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692. But more importantly, it offered a social commentary about the wrongful prosecution of communists by the US government. The Crucible was first performed on January 22nd, 1953 at the Martin Beck Theatre. It won the Tony Award for the Best Play that year.
The play tells the story of John Proctor and other members of the Salem town who are falsely accused of practicing witchcraft. Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and a few other girls claim that people in the town have connections with the devil. Judge Danforth; Reverend Parris; Reverend Hale; and Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, are some of the major characters of The Crucible. The four-act play begins with a group of girls, led by Abigail, playing in the forest along with the black slave, Tituba. When Betty Parris enters into a comatose state, her father, Reverend Parris, questions Tituba and the girls. Once Betty wakes up, she and the other girls wrongly accuse the people of Salem of practicing witchcraft. The Crucible concludes with John Proctor being sentenced to death after he refuses to accept the false charges pressed against him.
Vengeance, pride, and justice are some of the themes that are explored in Miller’s play. Later, Miller wrote an article to disclose the purpose of The Crucible, i.e., to shed light on the problem of the “Red Scare” that was prevalent in the US in the 1950s. Through the play, Miller expressed his strong dissent against the US Congress. It did not go down well with the government as he was convicted by the Committee on un-American activities in 1956.
The Crucible is one of the most reputed works of Arthur Miller. It has been adapted into films, television programs, and opera shows.
Here are some literary analysis essays on this famous play and the playwright:
- Parallels between Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, and his article Why I wrote the Crucible, can easily support Miller’s reasons for writing this classic play. Miller’s purpose in writing both the play and the article was to emphasize the similarities between the 1692 witch hunt and the 1950’s Red Scare. Miller simply wanted to convey the message of fear over reason, express himself in a new language of old English, to warn of mass hysteria, and most importantly compare his life in the 1950’s to the irrational trial in 1692.... [tags: the crucible]
873 words | (2.5 pages) | Preview
- Introduction The Crucible – It can withstand extreme conditions. While heating metals in it, the impurities come up to the surface and the pure substance can be obtained. It basically helps in separating pure and impure substances. Link – In Miller’s play, the character of John Proctor is tested. Eventually he decides to sacrifice his life, rather than betray his beliefs. In 1953, at the time the book was written, the Second World War had just ended but still there was a clash of democrats ands communists.... [tags: Essay on The Crucible]
911 words | (2.6 pages) | Preview
- The Salem witch trials of 1692 was an event that shaped the history of this country, as well as the lives of those whose wives and husbands were condemned to death. In order for such an event to occur, there must be a set of people who catalyze the event, and others who speak out against it. In “The Crucible”, certain characters help contribute to the rising hysteria of witchcraft, and others contribute to the disapproval of so many wrongful convictions. Reverend Hale is a character who actually contributes to both sides.... [tags: The Crucible]
565 words | (1.6 pages) | Preview
- Throughout the endurance of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, vengeance plays a prominent role in the actions and fates of various characters. In many ways, vengeance fuels the need for retaliation. Disputes among neighbors has bred hatred and then witch trials brought out the vindictiveness of Salem's population. This leads to the deaths of many citizens in Salem by false accusations to the court. Citizens of Salem were utilizing the court system as a means of "extermination" for people who had interests or beliefs, that were contradictory to their own.... [tags: the crucible]
1150 words | (3.3 pages) | Preview
- A Crucible is a container that can withstand great amount of heat, such as one required for refining gold. It can also mean a severe trial. In the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, severe trails occur throughout the play, not just in the courtroom but also in people’s homes and souls. I believe Arthur Miller named his play “The Crucible” because it shows the trials and hardships people face within themselves, the courtroom and Puritan society. An example of a Crucible is a trial or battle someone faces; it could be within themselves or with others.... [tags: Aurthur Miller, Crucible, titles,]
665 words | (1.9 pages) | Preview
- Vengeance is the act of taking revenge for a past wrong. In the Crucible, Thomas Putnam and Abigail Williams both took advantage of circumstances to carry out vengeance against different people. For the case of Abigail Williams, she made use of the paranoia of the witchcraft trials to her advantage to carry out personal vengeance against Elizabeth Proctor. Firstly, she amplifies the townsfolk’s’ fear of the supernatural by pretending she was being attacked by witches. By pretending she was being attacked by an invisible bird sent out by Mary Warren (“why do you come, yellow bird?”) and accusing countless people of witchcraft, Abigail sows discord and fear amongst the staunch Puritian village... [tags: Essay on The Crucible]
709 words | (2 pages) | Preview
- Nine critical approaches are utilized when analyzing a piece of literature in order to appeal to a variety of critics. Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible can be interpreted from numerous approaches, but one lens that is unmistakable throughout is the psychological criticism. From a psychological standpoint, one gains access to the mindset of both the author and the characters within. In addition to this, the reader also acquires a greater understanding of the motivations, behaviors, and mental state that each character possesses.... [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Behavior]
1396 words | (4 pages) | Preview
- In Salem, during the times of the Salem witch trials, the church and the people were very close. This is what led to the hysteria and chaos which was the Salem witch trials. It also led to many conflicts between the characters in this book, because anyone who was against the church was considered a criminal. Some of these conflicts were between; Abigail and the other children, Danforth and the town folk, and John Proctor with himself and his wife. Abigail consistently intimidated the village girls.... [tags: Conflict, Crucible, Aurthur Miller,]
528 words | (1.5 pages) | Preview
- The Crucible was not widely accepted when it was originally released. The literature was Arthur Miller's response to McCarthyism and the Red Scare. During the play Abigail Williams accuses most of Salem of being a witch. This leads to mass hysteria within the town. Which in turn leads to Reverend Parris bringing Reverend John Hale to Salem. Hale is there to sort out and get rid of any presence of the Devil. There is a multitude of themes in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. These range any where from guilt and revenge to authority and integrity.... [tags: Essay on The Crucible]
675 words | (1.9 pages) | Preview
- The urge to be seen as perfect is a desire commonly found among humans. However, even some animals are not immune to such desires. A bird trying to attract the best mate in the forest by creating a perfect nest will fight to the death for a twig that it believes will make its nest excel beyond the rest. The bird will even go so far as to break the incubating eggs in a nest if it contains an item that the bird wants as its own. Similarly in humans, there are characters that strive for perfection so much so that they begin to weigh ideology above humanity.... [tags: Macbeth, The Crucible]
1662 words | (4.7 pages) | Preview