Focused on maintaining public reputation, the townsfolk of Salem must fear that the sins of their friends and associates will taint their names. But Arthur Miller intended to use the Salem Witch Trials as an allegory for the anti-communist Red Scare and the congressional hearings of Senator Joseph McCarthy going on in the United States inwhen the play was first performed.
Ironically, the girls avoided punishment by accusing others of the very things of which they were guilty. At the end of act 2 Hale faces an increasingly painful moral dilemma, exacerbated by unmistakable signs of a judicial system going haywire.
Although Abigail enjoys being the chief witness of the court, her chief desire is to obtain Proctor, and she will do anything to bring this about, including self-mutilation and murder. We wish we could say you should read The Crucible for its awesome costumes.
Those who were revealed, falsely or legitimately, as Communists, and those who refused to incriminate their friends, saw their careers suffer, as they were blacklisted from potential jobs for many years afterward.
This, however, is too much for Proctor.
And, on a lighter note: This concern leads directly into act 3. The realization that desire affects individuals and their behavior keeps the audience engrossed in the play. Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority.
On the other hand, Miller moves beyond a discussion of witchcraft and what really happened in Salem to explore human motivation and subsequent behavior.
This desperate and perhaps childish finger-pointing resulted in mass paranoia and an atmosphere of fear in which everyone was a potential witch.
By the end ofthe Salem court had convicted and executed nineteen men and women. It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness.
Her apparently incurable illness sets in motion the action of the play, which centers on the historic Salem witch trials. Ann has no living children and envies happier mothers, while land-rich Thomas stands to gain still more if some of his neighbors are indicted. The audience watches Proctor as the play progresses and judges his actions according to his motivations and reactions to the various "tests" through which he passes.
It won Miller a Tony. In The Crucible, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious piety but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges. Soon the whole country was whipped into a moral frenzy.
As a result, neighbors distrusted one another and feuds broke out regarding property rights and clear deeds of ownership. He snatches the confession and tears it apart, ready to die rather than to give false testimony publicly. One neighbor is John Proctor, who appears while the adults are offstage praying, and after Abigail and her girlfriends have discussed what to reveal about Tituba, who indeed performed voodoo rites.
He too, will stop at nothing to satisfy his desire, even if attaining his goal means murdering his neighbors by falsely accusing them of witchcraft so he can purchase their lands after their executions. Individuals no longer felt secure with their landholdings because they could be reassigned at any time.
Two years later, inMiller wrote Death of a Salesman, which won the Pulitzer Prize and transformed Miller into a national sensation. The moment he arrives, Hale starts his interrogation of Abigail, who confesses and turns against Tituba, who admits her dark practices.
Although the Puritans left England to avoid religious persecution, they based their newly established society upon religious intolerance. For one thing, there were, as far as one can tell, no actual witches or devil-worshipers in Salem.
In other words, the audience observes the character as he or she is tested, and the audience ultimately determines if he or she passes the test.
His affair with Abigail results in a fall from grace, not only with his wife Elizabeth, but also within himself. Arthur Miller helps us try to think about how we would handle ourselves if we were to find ourselves in this situation Intolerance The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.
Sure, on the surface this play appears to be totally about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller incorporates this aspect of the period into the play through the character of Mr. As the audience observes the characters, the audience itself is tested and forced to acknowledge that desire — whether positive, such as the desire for pleasure, or negative, such as lust, greed, or envy — is a realistic part of life.
The Puritans had no tolerance for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior and punished individuals publicly and severely if they transgressed. Fearing the spread of Communism and seeing it as a threat to the nation and to individual freedoms, the American government, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, sought out every single communist in the U.
If Miller took unknowing liberties with the facts of his own era, he also played fast and loose with the historical record. In John Proctor, Miller gives the reader a marvelous tragic hero for any time—a flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him.
Sensing the impact of this, Danforth summons Elizabeth and asks her why she dismissed Abigail; she lies to protect her husband, thereby sabotaging his defense. Like Abigail, a hidden agenda guides Putnam, namely his greed for land.Inspired by the McCarthy hearings of the s, Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, focuses on the inconsistencies of the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas.
Miller bases the play on the historical account of the Salem witch trials. Miller discusses his work with various interviewers. Two useful discussions of The Crucible. Miller, Arthur. Timebends: A Life. New York: Grove Press, Morgan, Edmund S.
“Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials: A Historian’s View,” in The Golden and the Brazen World: Papers in Literature and History, The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.
Because of the theocratic nature of the society, moral laws and state laws are one and the same: sin and the status of an individual’s soul are matters of public concern. Drawing on research on the witch trials he had conducted while an undergraduate, Miller composed The Crucible in the early s.
Miller wrote the play during the brief ascendancy of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a demagogue whose vitriolic anti-Communism proved the spark needed to propel the United States into a dramatic and fractious anti.
Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Researching the Salem Witch Trials - Inference and Evidence Media "Witchcraft Victims on the Way to the Gallows," by F.C. Yoyan, appeared in the Boston Herald, May 14, The Crucible, a play written inby Arthur Miller, details the Salem witch trials that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts.
Abigail, the main character in the play, manipulates the Puritan town's anti-witch fervor to destroy John Proctor, her former employer who once had an affair with her.Download