Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" Essay

3348 Words14 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. It was used as a parable for McCarthyism in America in the 1950s. Miller's play 'The Crucible' has recently been made into a hugely successful film that stars…show more content…
The play explores the themes of witchcraft, the struggle between good and evil and a fear of individuality. At the end of Act One Reverend Hale of Beverly, an authorative on witchcraft arrives at Reverend Parris's house. He is trying to awaken Betty from her bed, as she has not woken since Parris caught Betty and some other girls from the wood with Tituba, Parris's Negro slave. The atmosphere is tense due to the fact the scene is taking place in the dark, upstairs room of Betty's bedroom. Its homely state and the close proximity of the characters add suspense and tension. The locals have no explanation for Betty's behaviour other than that she is bewitched. More local disturbances were likely to be blamed on witchcraft, and the hunt for witches began. The community in Salem was all Puritan settlers who had fled from persecution in England and hoped to have found a city of souls. The town was deeply religious as a result of a close relationship between the church and the law, it was, in fact a theocracy. Betty's supposed bewitching would have become very prominent within the village and struck terror into the very core of such a community. Hale begins the scene with suspense. His persona is re-iterated as a brave and fearless man when he alarms the audience with the words, 'if the Devil is in her you will witness frightful wonders in this room.' He scares Mr. Putnam and asks him to stand close in case
Open Document