Arthur Miller wrote the play, The Crucible (1952), during the time of the Red Scare in the United States when the House Un-Americans Activities Commission was investigating and accusing innocent people of communism or of participating in communist activities. Miller critiques and compares the case of The Red Scare to the Salem Witch Trials, with the HUAC as the Salem court, and the innocent citizens as characters accused of witchcraft. Arthur Miller parallels the power of the government during the post-WWII United States to the theocratic Puritan community of Salem village. The point he makes is power could overcome facts and an accusation of guilt could completely ruin one’s reputation. Being considered as a communist, or a witch would result in scandal, imprisonment or death as was the case for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were executed for espionage in 1953. Miller’s protagonist John Proctor says, ”How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 143). This refers to the pain and shame of false accusations that innocent victims endure when they surrender under power and coercion. The themes Miller explores such as jealousy, anger and avarice are universal. However, if The Crucible were adapted to 2018, significant revisions would be necessary to make the text relevant to modern audiences: the court would be completely independent from religious doctrine; witchcraft would not be a reasonable accusation; and the process of justice would be more ethical and rigorous.
All of the characters in The Crucible were Puritans except of Tituba. Their lives revolved around hard work, attending church and reading the Bible. Now, it is acceptable to question religion and religious leaders; many Americans do not attend church or are agnostic. Many other religions are practiced in this country such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc, with many atheists as well. Religion is not considered as important to society as in The Crucible. To some degree, the religious leaders of Miller’s play welcomed the idea of witchcraft because expelling it would give them power: “Let you strike against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it!” (Miller 17). Adapting the text to modern time, the alleged crime would be some form of human rights abuse or assault because the value of individual rights and personal safety are major concerns of audiences in the United States. Witchcraft seems like a joke now compared to possible evils that could negatively impact society.
People have different mentalities from time to time. Abigail, who’s the leader of the accusers in The Crucible, commits perjury because she is the rejected lover of John Proctor. She falsely accuses his wife, Elizabeth, of practicing witchcraft because she hopes this accusation will result in eliminating Elizabeth and getting Proctor for herself. She is motivated by jealousy, lust, and anger at being fired from the Proctor’s employ. The girls in the play follow Abigail because they fear her and they enjoy the power they exert in court falsely accusing others. They manipulate the religious beliefs of the naive public and use their youth to make their accusations seem holy. A modern secular audience would be more rational and would be moved by an accusation of child abuse or sexual assault. An entire community would not be fooled by a story of witchcraft.
Throughout the play, the investigation of witchcraft only lasts a few days before determining who is guilty, and conviction is swift. In the modern day, there is a lengthy judicial process for someone accused of committing a crime. Evidence collection, examination, testimonies, trials, and appellate court exist to provide an ethical system of justice. A defendant could also hire a lawyer or one would be appointed to represent the accused in court. In The Crucible, citizens are expected to prove their innocence by reciting the ten commandments or defending themselves against the presence of an invisible spirit. As judge Danforth says:“But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be a witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. . . . Therefore, we must rely upon her victims— and they do testify, the children certainly do testify” (Miller 100). Justice in the Salem community is arbitrary, and guilt is a matter of confession; citizens confess to avoid death, making the legal process a farce. Legal proceedings usually take a lot of time and some amount of evidence (DNA, fingerprints, video recordings, etc) to prove if someone is guilty or not, rather than just testimony from alleged victims as in The Crucible. Penalties for committing crimes are differentiated by degrees. The death penalty is imposed by hanging, and in one case crushing, in The Crucible; this would be considered inhumane and cold-blooded in 2018. Although capital punishment is still used in 30 states, this is a controversial issue. It is believed many convicted criminals are imprisoned wrongfully due to unjust circumstances such as corrupt interrogation methods or false confessions given under torture. Confessions in Miller’s work and in modern society are not always truthful and are made only to avoid a terrible fate.
Literature reflects the values of society, and for The Crucible to be updated to meet a current audience’s taste, some details of the original text could be retained. Audiences are still interested in characters consumed by jealousy and self-interest. The topic of injustice would still attract the attention of viewers and cause an emotional response. John Proctor is the hero of The Crucible because he verbalized the injustice and hypocrisy of his closed-minded community. When he cries out “God is dead” (Miller 119), he demonstrates rebellion against the oppressive religious community and voices his disgust with mankind. Miscarriage of justice still occur so for The Crucible to be put in modern time, the message could be maintained, but the political structure of the community, the accusation, and the court proceedings must be changed.
The play The Crucible by the playwright, Arthur Miller, is set during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. As a group of young girls claiming to be possessed by satanic influences, accuse other civilians of witchcraft, John Proctor the tragic hero finds himself at the center. Many lives are at stake as the girls cry out against people they despise or who have wronged them, Proctor and his wife are accused. In the process, his past affair with Abigail comes...
Look at 1600 to the 1950s and then compare them to the current times, and it is clear that this community has made some drastic changes to the laws that govern humanity, social behavior, education levels and one major change is in the law and system. The many displays of accusations without evidence that turned into court cases and many of which the accused ended up being found guilty. This act is called McCarthyism. McCarthyism is defined as “ to...
The Salem witch trials were a time of mass fear and hysteria around witches. Hundreds of women and girls were accused of being “witches.” A similar time of mass hysteria and fear also occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. It was called the Red Scare, spurred on by McCarthyism. Named after its leader, Joseph Mccarthy, a Republican Wisconsin senator, the movement gained huge traction due to pre-established hysteria around so-called “Reds” in the government and by hyping up...
People cannot control their destiny but must live through the hardships and change their perspectives/personality to survive the hysteria. Mankind must persist through the failures and as long as courage drives ambition, their voice will be heard across the world. This power of inspiration is expressed during Mccarthyism, an era where Arthur Miller faces contempt with congress but persists on writing many plays to express his voice and make an impact on the world. In one of his many striking...
In Arthur Miller’s, “The Crucible” his story takes place in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts. In the village of Salem, a string of unlawful accusations and hangings are conducted due to mass hysteria surrounding so called, “witches.” He aims to portray the dangers of how mass hysteria in a community can affect action and the idea of guilt until proven innocent. The story begins as a minister called Reverend Parris stumbles upon a handful of young girls, including his niece Abigail and...
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Proctor’s last act is a noble and honorable way to die. He chooses to die not only for himself and his wife, but also for those who stand wrongly accused. Proctor decides to die with the honest people of Salem instead of selling those people out and dishonoring their memory and deaths by falsely admitting to the crime of witchcraft. By refusing to confess, John gives up his life with his wife, children, and unborn child, standing by the ideal...
In times of fear, people look to a person to help guide and lead them. Because of all the attention, that person’s voice becomes a powerful tool that can change the views of many. The play, “The Crucible”, written by Auther Miller, was the story set in Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93 focusing on the Salem Witch Trials. The Crucible’s main antagonist, Abigail Williams, is an orphan girl of 17 years. She becomes obsessed with power after she and some...
Arthur Miller utilises his literary masterpiece ‘The Crucible’ as a vehicle to expose to the audience that maintaining personal integrity requires great courage and strength in the face of hysteria and frenzy and refusing to name names can come at a high cost, especially amidst an autocratic rule. He does this through thoughtful characterisation, symbolism, language, allegory, imagery and characters’ moral dilemmas. Arthur Miller’s outstanding 1953 play, effectively utilises allegory to draw parallels between the period of McCarthyism within the...
‘The Crucible’ is a 1953 play by an American play writer, Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch hunt trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. One of the main characters of the play, Abigail Williams is one the main character in the play who is the antagonist and involved in most of the conflicts because she represents the theme off jealousy. She is a victim of what is happening in her...
Fear plays a major role in The Crucible and is the main reason why the village of Salem dealt with the witchcraft incidents so badly. Throughout the trials of the people living in Salem, no evidence was found to convict anyone of witchcraft. Instead, the word of a group of young girls was taken as the truth because nobody dared question people who had seen and encountered the devil so the idea that the girls were lying was not one...
The Whore-ible Character Memories from the past can either be excellent or awful. In the younger days, recollections like, playing at parks and eating sugar come to mind. Memories that are unpleasant can have an effect on a person by changing their attitude, the way they act, and can even make a person do enough to the point they regret it. As for Abigail Williams, a character in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, remembering the past is something she wants...
Acceptance and being well liked are basic human needs. Naturally, when given a large platform, leaders have dominant views, in turn, creating polarizing opinions. Corruption is innate, humans are bound to make errors. Gaining authority and influence releases us from the restraints of societal pressure. It forces leaders to evaluate a situation and make a judgment. Although, with this much responsibility it becomes effortless to be erratic. As Lord Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts...
Texts have the ability to determine numerous human experiences, both individually and collective, in order to create unique understanding into human’s radical perspectives. Both ‘The Crucible’, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’, directed by Mark Herman in 2008, manage to represent the struggles and understanding of individual and collective human experiences. We gain clear realization of how these works manage to sculpt an image of human sensation, aspiration and drive which is apparent...
Christopher Pike once said, “Nothing is as it seems.’ John Proctor, from the play The Crucible, relates to this quote. John Proctor is a farm owner in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a well–respected man who went through some road bumps that made his characteristics change drastically. John Proctor changed throughout the play because of events that made him have to change his judgment, beliefs and emotions. The beginning of the play, John Proctor is not presented as a good man,...
Do you remember Bill Clinton? The 42nd president of the United States, a supposed role model to the nation. Well, his scandal of 1995 reveled that he had an affair with a fellow government worker Monica Lewinski. In this case, Clinton’s choices put in perspective how a person’s public and personal actions and choices can be the complete opposite. Through the action of storytelling, we are able to reveal and experience others conflicting public and personal personas, which make us...
When someone’s journey comes to an end, it is a tragedy. Many people want to carry a story with them after they have passed. Most people want to leave something memorable behind, people want to be seen as a good person, perhaps a hero. According to Aristotle, “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall”. In ‘The Crucible’, written by Arthur Miller, John Proctor is seen as a tragic hero. While the...
In the dark thunderous nights of the winter of 1692, the people of Salem’s biggest fear had risen upon them. Arthur Miller deliberately uses verbiage to make the Trials seem a little more histrionic. Abigail Williams and a group of young ladies performed dances around a fire, fully stripped out of their clothes, which sprung a rumor lasting a few months that costed people’s lives. The people of Salem credenced the rumor, that the dancing was a talisman to calling...
John Proctor is one of the most significant and vital characters of The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1952 and released in 1953. John Proctor is a farmer in his middle thirties, the sort of important man with a bad temper. Miller does not use the name of the character by chance: his name is a telling-name because he is a very cleanhearted, good and reliable leader. Furthermore, related to his psychology, he is a completely proud and selfish...
Chaos breaks out in the town and rumors of witchery spread. Teenage girls let out savage screams and shake uncontrollably. Everyone is panicking and blaming one another. In ‘The Crucible’, a historical fiction play written by Arthur Miller, set in 1693 Salem, Massachusetts, John Proctor, a respected farmer, tries to get the truth out and end the witchcraft madness. Arthur Miller wrote the play about the Salem Witch Trials, which started when a group of young girls were accused of...
The Crucible is a 1953 play by American writer Arthur Miller. It is a dramatised and in part fictionalised story of the Salem witch trials that occurred in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93. John Proctor is a hardworking moderately aged farmer, husband, and father. He values genuineness and has extraordinary scorn for hypocrisy. Incidentally, John is concealing a scandalous little secret of his own. His wife Elizabeth Proctor adores and regards him even though she realises he isn’t without...
In the beginning of the play, Miller introduces the character John Proctor as an individual that remains unalterable with Proctor’s stance on honesty and integrity, unlike the narrow-minded Salem community. In Act I, Miller presents John Proctor as a bold man, standing up to hypocrites. Further on, Proctor argues with the Putnams and Reverend Parris due to bizarre accusations about witchcraft. Miller exhibits John Proctor’s indications that Putnam cannot chide the devil for his children’s deaths arguing. “I see none...
John Proctor is the tragic hero in the play ‘The Crucible’. He gives all he has and gives his life for the people that he loves. He confesses his sins in front of the court to get his wife out jail and prove that there are so many people lying about everything that is going on. He’s one of the biggest inspirations in the story and no one could ever live up to his part or character in any movie...
John Proctor, from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Macbeth, from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, are two main characters that show obvious similarities with each other. Both characters show the negative impact of witchcraft in their lives, the reputation they have within the community, and their tragic flaws. While the similarities may be true, they contrast and show evident differences. To begin with, John Proctor and Macbeth are both highly impacted by witchcraft. John’s home town is rumored to be bewitched and...
The world is just as unscrupulous as its people. Looking back, they are made aware of the haunting payoff of deceit that accompanies an attempt to try to “better” the world. The Crucible is one well-written play that develops the concept of flawed humans. In this play, Arthur Miller depicts the Salem Witch Trials and how they were wrongfully conducted under the purported “law.” The characters manipulated the whole society of the village into believing the drastic idea of witchcraft....
The timeless American play, ‘The Crucible’, by Arthur Miller, dramatizes the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century. The series of unmerited trials and hangings took place in colonial Massachusetts. The event was an instance of mass hysteria, a phenomenon found in groups of people where they share a common delusion or symptom, often as a result of general fear or anxiety. In many cases, there is a scapegoat involved where a person or a select group of people...
What if I told you that the world we live in is much more similar to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials than you thought? Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ speaks about these aforementioned trials through the eyes of those living during the era. Chaos in Salem spread after the accusations of witchcraft against Reverend Parris’ slave, Tituba, due to the fact that his daughter, Betty, became ill with no plausible explanation. Tituba, being brought into custody for interrogation, admits to...
The Crucible is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in 1952. It is the play that preceded Death of a Salesman, his first success as a writer for which he won a Tony award and the Pulitzer Prize. The play is based on the Witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts where 20 women accused of being witches where hanged in 1692 This play by Arthur Miller was written to last, and it is part of the selective canon (texts...
Artur Miller writes the play, The Crucible, which describes the events of the 1960’s Salem witch hunt. However, he writes theses events as an allegory to the 1950’s ‘witch hunt’ in America against the communist party. The characters in the play portray different types of people during the 1950s. In this play, Salam, the town is under terror from supernatural acts, however, the town fears more of being accused of witchcraft. In the period of accusations of witchcraft over 150...
People worry about their reputation all time. People worry that their reputation is in jeopardy. There were so many people that were worrying about their reputation not the act “The Crucible”. There are many examples of this. There was John Proctor when he was accused of being a witch. Then there is Reverend Parris who was so worried about what people thought about the church and what he was doing with it all. And finally there was Abigail he was...
Often, we are told that human nature tends to display traits of selfishness or embodies the attitude of ‘me first, you later’. Arthur Miller’s most reputed work ‘The Crucible’ explores the consequences and sheds light to the true extent of a human’s selfishness. The court-based drama focuses on the tales of the 1692 Salem Tragedy and tells the story of the Salem town who are falsely accused of practicing witchcraft. Readers are shown the strong theocracy used to serve a...