"The Crucible" By Arthur Miller. Essay

1516 words - 6 pages

Arthur Miller's The Crucible takes place during the 1692 witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts. We become acquainted with the play's protagonist, John Proctor, during the first act and learn of his past. He isn't perfect, like many of the other good people in the play, but he is still a hero and a martyr for many people. Throughout the play Miller shows how the sacrifice of human life is permitted under the guise of law and order, through the significance of the title, debates over religion and parallels with McCarthyism.In medieval times, alchemists used crucibles to separate gold from different metals. Miller's choice of The Crucible as the title of the play is symbolic. During the witch-hunt they succeed in extracting the "crème de la crème" of society but during the chaos of the trial, they end up destroying them. These people were not pure saints; they each had faults and weaknesses. Take Giles Corey, for example, he was an ignorant and deaf old manGILES [he cannot be crossed]: John Proctor, I have only last month collected four pound damages for you publicly sayin' I burned the roof off your house, and I -PROCTOR [laughing]: I never said no such thing, but I've paid you for it, so I hope I can call you deaf without charge...He may have been arrogant, but he still loved his family and kept them as his prime worry, even with his last breath. He sacrificed his life, so his boys could inherit his property, his dying words "More weight" as rocks crushed his fragile body.John Proctor is a sinner; this is established in the commentary of the play in the first act....He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own decent vision... Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud...The reader then learns of his affair with Abigail Williams, but instead of being revolted the audience is positioned to side with John rather than Abigail. In Act II when John seasons the stew, then compliments Elizabeth, saying "It's well seasoned", the readers learn that their relationship is strained and John is trying to show his love for her. When he continues to fight for the lives of others after Elizabeth has been freed from conviction, it shows his passion for justice.Salem was governed by a theocracy. This means the government was united with the church, which had been a strength in the early days but by 1692 interests began to wander. Individual characters began to emerge which scared the church. Religion had a big impact on the people of Salem, who believed all those who weren't converted to their religion evil. "...very few Indians were converted, and the Salem folk believed that the virgin forest was the Devil's last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand." In the early days of settlement, the people had banded together to fight the Indians, but by this time they were not so afraid and the individuals became threats to the church. John was a...

Find Another Essay On "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

949 words - 4 pages Arthur Miller based The Crucible upon the seventeenth century witch hunts that took place in the community of Salem – a small Puritan colony near Boston, Massachusetts. At that time Salem was a theocracy in which Christian moral was interpreted by the citizens as supreme. Miller this play as an allegory for Senator Joe McCarthy and his notorious “Red Scare” hearings of the twentieth century which accused many high-profile Americans of being

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

550 words - 2 pages “The Crucible” In 1692, countless innocent people were hanged, tortured, or stripped of their reputation because they were falsely accused of being a witch. They would have to falsely confess to save their lives, or else have their reputation be defaced. Arthur Miller shows the chaos of people constantly living in fear that their neighbor would become greedy, and falsely accuse them of being something that they were not. Miller does this

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

693 words - 3 pages The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller during the 1950’s. The Crucible is a story that takes place in Salem Massachusetts in 1692. The Crucible begins with group of girls being caught by Reverend Parris dancing around a fire. Abigail one of the leaders of the group gets questioned by Reverend Parris about witchcraft, deny's the doings and rumours quickly fill the town about witchcraft. Abigail who was a worker in John Proctor's house

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 1064 words

1064 words - 4 pages control. What she wants is John Proctor to herself, and Elizabeth out of the picture. With her position, she could probably achieve her goal, but John Proctor would never let that happen. Works Cited The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 2789 words

2789 words - 11 pages , Phillip G. Modern Drama. 1967, pp.312-17.Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin Plays, 1953.Tragedy and the Common Man. Viking Press, 1978. http://theliterarylink.comPartridge, C.J. An Atmosphere of Dread in "The Crucible": The Greenhouse Press Library Companion to America Literature. Ed. Siebald, Thomas. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999.Warshow, Robert. The Immediate Experience: The Greenhouse Press Library Companion to America Literature. Ed. Siebald, Thomas. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 2424 words

2424 words - 10 pages The Crucible by Arthur Miller "Societies often tend to suppress individual freedom in order to maintain social order" 'Examine the key characters and their beliefs in The Crucible in the light of this statement' A crucible is a vessel in which metals are heated, melted down and purified. The play 'The Crucible', by Arthur Miller shows a community, which ignites and burns with the accusations of witchcraft

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 2295 words

2295 words - 9 pages principles. In Macbeth’s story, William Shakespeare leaves the audience with the message that humans are often overcome with a lust for success, and will, as a result, abandon their integrity. The result of this abandonment is a burden-heavy guilt. Nevertheless, William Shakespeare’s approach to human morality in Macbeth is not repeated by all other tragedy authors, one such writer being Arthur Miller. In contrast, the playwright Arthur Miller delivers

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 526 words

526 words - 2 pages In The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, the strict Puritan community of Salem is bombarded with the hysteria of witchcraft. It starts when five young girls of Salem are caught dancing in the forest. Instead as mere children playing, this behavior is viewed upon by the Puritans as the work of the devil. As the hysteria builds momentum, more and more accusations radiate. Reverend Hale, a well known expert on witches, is brought into

The Crucible By: Arthur Miller

609 words - 2 pages CrucibleIn The Crucible, a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692, by Arthur Miller, the character of Reverend Parris displays hypocrisy. Priest are generally considered good, honest people, but Parris lies to the community, he puts his ministry in front of his daughters life, and tries to help himself before helping the community. Even when Parris's daughter is sick and he is unsure what is wrong with her, he puts himself and his job before

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - 1054 words

1054 words - 4 pages The Crucible, by playwright Arthur Miller, tells the tale of the 1692 Salem witch trials and demonstrates how the turbulent time was increased by the vindictiveness of the people of Salem, even before the event of witchcraft. The defensive, insidious ways of the girls, under the manipulative control of Abigail Williams was responsible for creating the mass hysteria and paranoia that blinded the small religious town in Massachusetts and forced

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

1937 words - 8 pages Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible shows the protagonist, John Proctor, tragic downward spiral as he unearths the error of his way. Proctor is used as a vehicle for Milers social criticism against the House of Un-American Activities Committee. It was led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1953. This was a time when anyone with left wing views was prosecuted with insignificant evidence, an identical affair to the Salem Witch Trials around 300 years

Similar Essays

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay 1559 Words

1559 words - 6 pages The Crucible by Arthur Miller Every great playwright has his or her time in the spotlight, for Arthur Miller it is believed this time came when he created The Crucible. The play is based on the corruption of the Salem witch trials which condemned many to an unjust death. Numerous amounts of criticism and interpretations were published to help the reader visualize a clearer picture of the play and understand what was happening during

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

886 words - 4 pages , drunkenness and gambling would be punished. The people of Salem believed in the devil and thought that witchcraft should be hunted out. The play can be seen as a general statement on the effects that fear and fanaticism can have on human beings and how one person can cause such catastrophe. It is a purely a controversial play, so why write a play knowing the danger you were putting yourself in? Arthur Miller wrote the play because he was

"The Crucible" By Arthur Miller. Essay

1346 words - 5 pages Conformity, Imbalance of Power, and Social Injustice in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.A "Great Drama" is a play in which an audience can find personal relevance. It is something which an audience can relate to. A great drama should having meaning to audiences for multiple generations. Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" successfully related to its audience and left us with messages that still echo today. The Crucible must be considered to be a great

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay 1256 Words

1256 words - 5 pages The crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is about the Salem witch trials and how people react to hysteria created from the fear of witches. In the play, after hysteria breaks out, the Salem government starts persecute and hang people it believes are witches. This prompts people to start to accusing people of witchcraft. Some people who accuse others of committing witchcraft are Abigail Williams and Thomas Putnam. They do not accuse people of