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The Review of The Crucible

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The crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953. Miller aimed to draw attention to the dangers of living in extremes. The period of time play was written in was troubling at some senses for the USA. McCarthyism was the dominating idea in both political and social life. The idea is the practice in the United States of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. Arthur Miller was one of those people who got accused. When he got asked to talk about ‘The Crucible’ he says: ‘The Crucible’ was an act of desperation. Much of my desperation branched out, I suppose, from a typical Depression-era trauma—the blow struck on the mind by the rise of European Fascism and the brutal anti-Semitism it had brought to power. But by 1950, when I began to think of writing about the hunt for Reds in America, I was motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set in among many liberals who, despite their discomfort with the inquisitors’ violations of civil rights, were fearful, and with good reason, of being identified as covert Communists if they should protest too strongly.’ In other words, his aim was to draw attention to those harsh accusations and pointing out that there are no differences between communist accusations and witch trials of the medieval period.

The play’s settings are 1692 Massachusetts, Town of Salem. The town’s folks were puritans and they see the world as merely good and evil. If something is not Biblical, Godly, it should be Devil’s tool, according to their belief. The town was ruled under the theocratical system, which means God was the ultimate ruler and the governor is just an instrument of God. Reverend Parris is the minister of the church. At first act of the play he claims that he has many enemies and later on in the dialogues between him and John Proctor who is a farmer who lives just outside of the town, it can be clearly seen. John is a man with a high temper and he was having difficulties with towns rules. He is married to Elizabeth Proctor yet had an affair with Abigail Williams, niece of Reverend Parris.

The play starts with Reverend Parris praying for his sick daughter Betty. In the dialogues, it is explained that previous night he caught some girl in the woods while dancing and performing some odd rituals. People of town were suspecting of witchcraft but Reverend Parris was constantly denying it in the fear of losing his power. To clear all the suspicions, they summon Reverend Hale, a trusted man and an expert on witchcraft. Reverend Hale begins to investigate the situation and he asks Abigail, one of the girls who were in the forest dancing, was she trying to call the devil previous night. Feeling trapped, she accuses Tituba, slave of the Parris manor and so the trials start. During the trials, more than four hundred people got accused of being a witch, including John Procter’s wife Elizabeth Procter. One of the girls, Mary, gave her a doll as a gift and when authorities find the doll she got arrested. Knowing all these events are Abigail’s doing, John Procter goes to court and admits that he had an affair with Abigail and this is all her doing and demands his wife’s freedom. To confirm his story judge asks Elizabeth if it is true. Trying to protect her husband Elizabeth denies it and John gets arrested. Seventy-two people were executed during the trials and Abigail ran off with all of her uncle’s money. Court says to John, that if he confesses the accusation they would let her live. Even though he has nothing to do with witchcraft he accepts the offer. However, after knowing his statement would be hanged on the church door he changes his mind and tears the statement and dies as an honest man.

Play’s genre is historical fiction due to its relativity to real life events. During 1692 and 1693 years there was a witch hunt going on in the US. Massachusetts. More than two hundred people were accused and more than twenty people were hanged due to accusations. The play’s genre can also be considered as a tragedy since in the end play’s protagonist John Procter suffers for his sin adultery. He can be considered as a tragic hero as his pride that keeps him to repent for a long time and disrespect to court and at the end of the play, the audience feels pity for him.

The play has many significant quotes and massages in it. At the fourth act, Reverend Hale says ‘It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it. I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess’ as he was trying to get Elizabeth to persuade her husband to confess. Considering the life and the accusations Miller had to deal with it is clear that he was trying to draw attention to the value of life and that sort of accusations might deal a great amount of damage to one’s life. Another important is at act 1. When Mrs.Punham, who has lost seven of her children, confesses she sent her daughter Ruth to practice witchcraft with Tituba as a response to Rebecca’s reaction she says ‘Let God blame me, not you, not you, Rebecca! I’ll not have you judging me anymore!’ She knows that she is not innocent but states that it is only God who can judge her. Afterward, in the story she cannot be seen in the court means that nobody blamed her for witchcraft and nobody judged her as she stated.

In the fourth act, John Procter says that ‘I confessed to God, that is enough.’ It is a quote that is rather easy to miss but in these lines, John Procter draws attention to the feeling of inner justice. He states that confession does not need an audience and he wanted to keep his name as a good man in order not to get him any shame.

REFERENCES

  1. Miller, Arthur. ‘Why I Wrote ‘The Crucible.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 21 Oct. 1996, www.newyorker.com/.
  2. The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism’. AuthenticHistory.com. AuthenticHistory.com. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  3. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. 1953.

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The Review Of The Crucible. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-review-of-the-crucible/
“The Review Of The Crucible.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-review-of-the-crucible/
The Review Of The Crucible. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-review-of-the-crucible/> [Accessed 20 May 2022].
The Review Of The Crucible [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 May 20]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-review-of-the-crucible/
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