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The Crucible

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A classic of the American Theatre - Arthur Miller's tense, ingeniously multi-layered drama of principle and paranoia.The place is Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequence A classic of the American Theatre - Arthur Miller's tense, ingeniously multi-layered drama of principle and paranoia.The place is Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving, but that compels listeners to gather their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can. A full-cast performance by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center featuring Robert Foxworth, Pamela Payton-Wright, Stuart Pankin, and Jerome Dempsey and cast. Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. His first theatrical success occurred in 1947 with All My Sons, which earned him the Drama Critic's Circle Award. In 1949, Death of a Salesman was given the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critic's Circle Award. The Crucible won a Tony Award four years later. His other plays included A View from the Bridge, The Price, After the Fall, Incident at Vichy, The American Clock, Danger Memory, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, and Broken Glass.

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A classic of the American Theatre - Arthur Miller's tense, ingeniously multi-layered drama of principle and paranoia.The place is Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequence A classic of the American Theatre - Arthur Miller's tense, ingeniously multi-layered drama of principle and paranoia.The place is Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving, but that compels listeners to gather their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can. A full-cast performance by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center featuring Robert Foxworth, Pamela Payton-Wright, Stuart Pankin, and Jerome Dempsey and cast. Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. His first theatrical success occurred in 1947 with All My Sons, which earned him the Drama Critic's Circle Award. In 1949, Death of a Salesman was given the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critic's Circle Award. The Crucible won a Tony Award four years later. His other plays included A View from the Bridge, The Price, After the Fall, Incident at Vichy, The American Clock, Danger Memory, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, and Broken Glass.

45 review for The Crucible

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Markus

    I hate to rate this so low when it seems that the only people who do so are those forced to read it by a cruel teacher. I'm even more troubled by the fact that I haven't seen anyone else bring up what bothers me about this play. Yes, it's well written -- that is, the dialogue is expertly handled. There are truly beautiful passages, such as this one: I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched w I hate to rate this so low when it seems that the only people who do so are those forced to read it by a cruel teacher. I'm even more troubled by the fact that I haven't seen anyone else bring up what bothers me about this play. Yes, it's well written -- that is, the dialogue is expertly handled. There are truly beautiful passages, such as this one: I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. But when it comes down to it, this is yet another piece of literature in which men HAVE sex, but women ARE sex. Men have complex lives and motivations; women's lives center entirely around men, specifically around attraction to and dependence on men. Miller brought up the very real issues of property and land-lust that dominated the real trial. Why did he insist on sexualizing the girls involved -- to the point where he had to make one of the girls several years older than she really was? The terrifying thing about what the real "afflicted girls" did was that it comes across as a sort of motiveless malignity. They were lashing out at their own repressive society, possibly egged on by parents who wanted to use them as weapons in battles over land. That's fascinating. Instead, Miller decided to say that the girls really were engaged in "witchcraft" -- or at least in stereotypical witch behavior: dancing naked in the woods at night, concocting evil brews. He insists that "there are accounts of similar klatches in Europe, where the daughters of the towns would assemble at night and, sometimes with fetishes, sometimes with a selected young man, give themselves to love, with some bastardly results." He doesn't seem to realize that these "accounts" are all from accusers or from the tortured accused. He really seems to believe that this went on. Then there's the main character: John Proctor. Can't imagine why I have a hard time sympathizing with him. Imagine you know a family with three young children. They hire an au pair. The dad has an affair with this young woman -- hardly older than a girl, a virgin, completely inexperienced in life or love. The mom suspects that something is going on and fires her, but stays with the dad. The dad bitches at the mom for always giving him that look and not acting happy to see him all the time. The mom breaks down crying and admits that her cold behavior must have pushed him into having an affair. The dad also bitches at the au pair, because this affair got her hopes up and she really thought it meant something to him the way it did to her. He screams at this teenager (who was lucky not to get pregnant, btw, since they didn't use birth control) to get over it, already -- he's married and he's staying that way. If you heard about something like this -- maybe it happened to a friend of yours, maybe you read about it in a novel -- would your first sympathy really be with the poor, tormented man who has to put up with all these women acting like he owes them something? Why has no one pointed out how creepy it is that John Proctor is genuinely supposed to be a sympathetic character, and Abigail is a monster? And by the way -- contrary to what Miller says in his afterword, the only "legend" that "has it that Abigail turned up later as a prostitute in Boston" is the one he started by writing this. Sorry. I'm not in 9th grade, and I still have problems with this modern classic. I understand why it is one; but I just can't give it the three "I liked it!" stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    A masterpiece in the history of Theatre...how can one put into words all the feelings that come to surface when you read The Crucible? What makes it even more shuttering, is the fact that it has always been relevant to any era, because it represents the fear in front of something we cannot understand, and the need to create witch-hunts in order to cover up our own faults as human beings and as members of our socities. John Proctor is the Everyman, he stands for every human being that is -rightfu A masterpiece in the history of Theatre...how can one put into words all the feelings that come to surface when you read The Crucible? What makes it even more shuttering, is the fact that it has always been relevant to any era, because it represents the fear in front of something we cannot understand, and the need to create witch-hunts in order to cover up our own faults as human beings and as members of our socities. John Proctor is the Everyman, he stands for every human being that is -rightfully- afraid in front of the face of an inhuman justice, being torchured over imaginary faults and mistakes. What elevates him to greatness, though, is his fight with himself and the way he wins it over, desperately battling to preserve his honour, his ''name''. ''I have given you my soul, leave me my name!'' is the ultimate cry for respect and understanding in a society that has lost all elements of compassion. I wonder, is our time so very different than those by-gone eras? Are we more understanding now, more open-minded? Do we find the respect we ask for? Do we earn it? I fear we won't like the answer...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    This is a magnificent play about what happens when hysteria takes over a society, and evil people gain access to the levers of power; something, alas, which happens all too frequently. The focus of the story is John Proctor's struggle to redeem himself from the horrible guilt he has suffered since committing adultery with Abigail. This is indeed very moving. But, for some reason, the part I think of most often is a detail concerning one of the minor characters, Giles Corey, who dies offstage half This is a magnificent play about what happens when hysteria takes over a society, and evil people gain access to the levers of power; something, alas, which happens all too frequently. The focus of the story is John Proctor's struggle to redeem himself from the horrible guilt he has suffered since committing adultery with Abigail. This is indeed very moving. But, for some reason, the part I think of most often is a detail concerning one of the minor characters, Giles Corey, who dies offstage halfway through. Giles is one of many citizens falsely accused of witchcraft by Abigail and those who are exploiting her. He is an impossible situation; irrespective of whether he pleads guilty or innocent, he is doomed. But Giles has a long history of litigation, and knows the law very well. He simply refuses to enter any plea at all. They fetch huge stones, and lay them on top of him, to force him to say something. But the only words he ever utters are "More weight". And so he dies uncompromised, and his farm is inherited by his children. The person telling the story finishes, and adds, "It was a fearsome man, Giles Corey". _______________________________________ I just looked it up on Wikipedia; apparently it's all true. The article is very good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    JOHN PROCTOR: What... what are we doing here? Where are we? ELIZABETH PROCTOR: We're in a review, John. JOHN PROCTOR: A review? JOHN HALE: Yes, a review. Newt Gingrich has been encouraging people to read The Crucible. We've agreed to help him. SAMUEL PARRIS: It's our duty, John. We're in the middle of the second worst witch hunt in American history. JOHN PROCTOR: The second worst? SAMUEL PARRIS: Yes, the second worst. After what's going to happen to Donald Trump in 2017. But at least our case is rem JOHN PROCTOR: What... what are we doing here? Where are we? ELIZABETH PROCTOR: We're in a review, John. JOHN PROCTOR: A review? JOHN HALE: Yes, a review. Newt Gingrich has been encouraging people to read The Crucible. We've agreed to help him. SAMUEL PARRIS: It's our duty, John. We're in the middle of the second worst witch hunt in American history. JOHN PROCTOR: The second worst? SAMUEL PARRIS: Yes, the second worst. After what's going to happen to Donald Trump in 2017. But at least our case is remotely comparable, so it offers people a point of reference. JOHN PROCTOR: What's going to happen to him? Is he going to be pressed under huge stones like my friend Giles Corey? SAMUEL PARRIS: I don't think so. JOHN PROCTOR: Hanged on the basis of false accusations like Rebecca Nurse? SAMUEL PARRIS: I believe not. JOHN PROCTOR: Entrapped and then imprisoned like my poor, wronged wife? SAMUEL PARRIS: I have different information. JOHN PROCTOR: Well, what then? SAMUEL PARRIS: People on late night talk shows are going to make a great many sarcastic comments about his tweeting habit. And after a while, he'll have said so many insane and self-incriminating things that a special counsel will be appointed to find out just what the hell is going on. THE WHOLE COURT: Oh, how dreadful! [Pause] JOHN PROCTOR: You're right. We have to do something. CURTAIN

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Crucible: a play in four acts, Arthur Miller The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. عنوانها: جادوگران شهر سالم؛ ساحره سوزان؛ چشم اندازی از پل و گذر از آزمون؛ آزمون آنشین؛ بوته ی آزمایش؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پنجم ماه اکتبر سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: جادوگران شهر سالم - نمایشنامه در چهار پرده؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ م The Crucible: a play in four acts, Arthur Miller The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. عنوانها: جادوگران شهر سالم؛ ساحره سوزان؛ چشم‌ اندازی از پل و گذر از آزمون؛ آزمون آنشین؛ بوته ی آزمایش؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پنجم ماه اکتبر سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: جادوگران شهر سالم - نمایشنامه در چهار پرده؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ مترجم: مجید امین موید؛ حادثه درویشی؛ تهران، صائب، 1345؛ در 125 ص؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م عنوان: ساحره سوزان؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ مترجم: فریدون فاطمی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1368؛ در 155 ص؛ عنوان: چشم‌ اندازی از پل و گذر از آزمون؛نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ مترجم: منیژه محامدی؛ تهران، افراز، 1388؛ در 191 ص؛ شابک: 9789642837878؛ عنوان: آزمون آنشین - نمایشنامه در چهار پرده؛ نویسنده: آرتور میلر؛ مترجم: منوچهر خاکسار هرسینی؛ تهران، افراز، 1389؛ در 208 ص؛ شابک: 9789642434626؛ بوته ی آزمایش؛ نمایشنامه ای در چهار پرده است، و با چهار عنوان به فارسی برگردان شده؛ نمایش‌نامه نخستین‌بار در سال 1952 میلادی و پس‌ از آن بارها با اجراهای گوناگون روی صحنه آمده است، از ژرفترین درام‌های جهان پس‌از جنگِ دوّم جهانگیر و اثری کلاسیک در نمایش‌نامه‌ نویسی ِ مدرن است؛ داستان محاکمات جادوگری در سیلم ، در سال‌های 1692 میلادی تا سال 1693 میلادی در ماساچوست آمریکا ست؛ ا. شربیانی

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Recently, a group of students allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and the political and religious conservatives in India went virtually mad. Soon, any criticism of India was seen as unpatriotic and traitorous. The JNU, a leftist stronghold and a thorn in the flesh of the Hindu Right-Wing government at the centre, was termed a positive hotbed of crime and vice and a recruiting ground for terrorists. Many a Muslim, unless he wore his love of Indi Recently, a group of students allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and the political and religious conservatives in India went virtually mad. Soon, any criticism of India was seen as unpatriotic and traitorous. The JNU, a leftist stronghold and a thorn in the flesh of the Hindu Right-Wing government at the centre, was termed a positive hotbed of crime and vice and a recruiting ground for terrorists. Many a Muslim, unless he wore his love of India on his sleeve for all to see, was branded a Pakistani agent - the refusal to say "Bharat Mata ki Jai" (Victory to Mother India) resulted in intimidation and even physical abuse in many places. What is interesting about this phenomena is that it is not only an orchestrated move from the right-wingers: many Indians are genuinely frightened that Pakistanis are in our midst, bent on destroying the country with the support of the leftists. There is a paranoia that is being exploited by the political vultures. I am frightened by how much this resembles McCarthyism - the madness that gripped America from 1950 to 56 and destroyed many lives and careers. Wikipedia says During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned, laws that were later declared unconstitutional, dismissals for reasons later declared illegal or actionable, or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute. It seems that human beings don't learn anything from history, and therefore keep on repeating it. But then, according to Arthur Miller, the Red Scare of the fifties was a repeat of a much darker event from the seventeenth century - the Salem Witch Trails. He wrote this play in 1953 to remind fellow citizens on how mass hysteria can engulf a society and demolish civilisation. in 1692, a group of children in Salem were afflicted by diseases which showed classical symptoms of hysteria, but were soon diagnosed as demonic possession by the church authorities based partly on the children's own confused utterings. Soon, people were being denounced left and right as witches and executed. Malicious people with revenge and other material interests (such as grabbing a condemned person's property) seems to have contributed enthusiastically to the madness. As John Proctor, an accused, says in the play: Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem - vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! These words are chillingly applicable to both McCarthyism and the events I quoted at the beginning: common vengeance is writing the law. Anybody can be accused - proof is not required, accusation is proof enough. Any kind of fair dealing and neutrality would be seen as potential collaboration, so the safest thing is to side with the accusers. Verily, the term "witch hunt" has entered the English language with strong credentials. A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud - God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! We will. We, the conformists who let the madness continue to save our own islands of comfort in this burning sea of paranoid anger. ---------------------------------- From the Oxford English Dictionary: 1 A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures 1.1 A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new It is evident that Arthur Miller put a lot of thought into the naming of his play. He wanted to emphasise the heat and the fire, the hatred and the horror: at the same time, he also wanted to point out that after the melting process, a refined product would come out. Times of extreme tribulations in society are usually followed by a period of rejuvenation. The playwright takes a lot of liberty with history to make his point. This is nothing new: Shakespeare regularly did this, it seems. So in the play, the historical 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the niece of the puritan minister Reverend Parris of Salem is transformed into an oversexed teen. She has seduced John Proctor in whose house she was working as a servant, and has apparently tried out some black magic to kill his wife. During such a magic session in the woods with Tituba and other kids, the Parris's Caribbean servant, they are surprised by the minister. Betty, the minister's young daughter, falls into a dead faint and cannot be cured by the doctor. Abigail immediately shouts witchcraft, and others join in; and soon the subterfuge becomes mass hysteria. Miller has chosen John Proctor to be tragic hero of this play; haunted by guilt at his infidelity (even more so because his wife forgives it), he seeks punishment for himself, at least inside his soul. His torment is further compounded as his wife Elizabeth is denounced as a witch by Abigail. To make matters worse, there is the cunning Thomas Putnam, abetting the hysteria to settle scores against old opponents and grab their lands. As the roller-coaster of paranoia rolls on towards its destructive end, Proctor himself is sentenced to hang for witchcraft but Elizabeth ironically escapes as she is pregnant. At the insistence of friends and a few sane people who want to stop the madness, John Proctor confesses at the last moment: however, he immediately sees the falsehood and cowardice in it and immediately withdraws it. HALE: Man, you will hang! You cannot! PROCTOR[his eyes full of tears]: I can. And there's your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. Yes indeed: the courage to stand up for what one thinks is right is ultimately the refined product that comes out of the crucible. ---------------------------------- The character who impressed me most in the story was Giles Corey, an 81-year-old man who refused to confess or refute when faced with charges of witchcraft. He was subjected to a horrendous form of torture called "pressing" (thankfully it occurs offstage in the play) where more and more rocks were piled on his chest in an effort to make him speak. Giles endured this for a whole two days before he died - his last words, reportedly, were "more weight". There's guts for you!

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review I may be a little unpopular with my 3 of 5 stars rating for The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller, but in my world, a 3 means it's your generally good book/play/movie with some great things, some bad things, and an overall "yeah, you should probably read it." The topic: Salem Witch Trials, one of my absolute favorite time periods in American history to research. Miller is brilliant, I acknowledge it. He bring suspense, timing and charisma in everything he does. But when this is abo Book Review I may be a little unpopular with my 3 of 5 stars rating for The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller, but in my world, a 3 means it's your generally good book/play/movie with some great things, some bad things, and an overall "yeah, you should probably read it." The topic: Salem Witch Trials, one of my absolute favorite time periods in American history to research. Miller is brilliant, I acknowledge it. He bring suspense, timing and charisma in everything he does. But when this is about an episode from our history over 250 years before the play was written, I expected something a bit different / stronger. Too many scenes were too dry for me. So many schools put this play on as a high school production. Even in colleges sometimes. I was tempted to look for it on Broadway... I mean, I do live in NYC. Why wouldn't I go try it out? Really... I blame myself here. Characters are great. You do feel strong emotions towards them. I think what I wanted more of... was the mysterious air surrounding those deemed a witch. There are some scenes where it's almost there for me, but ultimately... I wanted more. I should probably give it another chance... it's been almost 25 years. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. [polldaddy poll=9729544] [polldaddy poll=9719251]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria Clara

    Estoy sin palabras... Realmente estremece ver hasta dónde es capaz de llegar la gente por estupidez, envidia y lujuria. Pero lo que más me ha gustado ha sido la fuerza moral de Proctor; impresionante.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    "I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem—-vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!" Such is the power of those noticeable quotes in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible; the power to cause the audience to question the issues arising when vengeance is allowed to write common law. Arthur Miller's play was created to be challenging for this very purpose. This was written at a "I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem—-vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!" Such is the power of those noticeable quotes in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible; the power to cause the audience to question the issues arising when vengeance is allowed to write common law. Arthur Miller's play was created to be challenging for this very purpose. This was written at a time when the House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) was in full swing. When authors, film makers and musicians could be blacklisted and named as communists if they displayed any 'anti-American' sentiments. As such due to its historical links this is a play that is important historically as well as powerful dramatically. And yet this tale is more than a simply moving historical drama it is a challenge to the actions of the modern man. This is a work of fiction which recalls the idea that those who forget the actions of the past are doomed to repeat them. In the town of Salem one young girl named Abigail is found dancing in the woods with several other young girls and her Jamaican slave. One of the girls, the daughter of the local pastor falls into an apparent faint and does not stir for hours. As a result the girls are suspected of having committed witchcraft and another reverend - an expert on defeating supernatural evil - is summoned to observe the scenario. (view spoiler)[ What the audience come to discover is that Abigail is in love with a certain John Proctor, a fallen and married man who committed carnal sin. Abigail wishes to have his wife killed so that Proctor may love her. And so the apparent use of witchcraft becomes used for gain as the girls admit to having seen the devil with their enemies. (hide spoiler)] What follows is the scenes of a town thrown into disarray as neighbour turns on neighbour, accusing them of witchcraft to gain what his neighbour owns. Thus Arthur Miller parallels the historical insanity in the Salem witch trials with the political aims of what I have heard called the 'McCarthyist regime'. His point is that ultimately humans will use legislation and violence to their own ends, that if a human being simply dislikes another they would use communism as an apparent guise to have their enemy blacklisted by society and condemned. It has gone on throughout history. Even Jesus at his trial had biased witnesses come forth to proclaim him guilty. The question that must be raised by this play is how do we as modern humans treat others. Do we sit by content to watch others cast false condemnation or do we become the John Proctor of our society? Because I believe that there are many modern issues that we as people are content to watch with apathy and do nothing. For evil exists when good men and women do nothing. That is why I love this play and rate it as one of my favourite plays. Because of the reaching power of its narrative and its prose. Many do not like the challenge issued by the text. They find it too confronting. But I think we need to be confronted every so often. As Ray Bradbury writes in Fahrenheit 451: "we need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?"

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A fascinating exploration of the consequences of unquestioned power, though an awful portrayal of women. I appreciated Arthur Miller bringing attention to the Salem Witch Trials and anti-communist hysteria. I hated how he treated Abigail and the other female characters in this story as crazy and antagonizing. Yes, Abigail's actions posed major problems - but Miller portrays John Proctor, the man who has illicit sex with her, as a martyr. Miller grants the men in this play complexity and autonomy A fascinating exploration of the consequences of unquestioned power, though an awful portrayal of women. I appreciated Arthur Miller bringing attention to the Salem Witch Trials and anti-communist hysteria. I hated how he treated Abigail and the other female characters in this story as crazy and antagonizing. Yes, Abigail's actions posed major problems - but Miller portrays John Proctor, the man who has illicit sex with her, as a martyr. Miller grants the men in this play complexity and autonomy; he relegates women to the role of one-dimensional witches. You could blame my feminist side, but you could also blame Miller for failing to seize an opportunity to question the patriarchal standards so salient in Salem. A good, emotional read, with solid writing and a compelling plot. It may make you angry, and if it does, I encourage you to think about who to direct your anger at in this play - the oppressed women, or the men who take advantage of them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    " - the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!" Though Miller claims to have had an abiding interest in the Salem Witch Trials, we all know this play was written as a gigantic Screw You! to Senator Joseph McCarthy and his investigations into alleged Un-American activities. The amazing thing is how well the play works on its own. Even if you know nothing of McCarthyism, you will still be moved by the plight of a small Massachusetts village w " - the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!" Though Miller claims to have had an abiding interest in the Salem Witch Trials, we all know this play was written as a gigantic Screw You! to Senator Joseph McCarthy and his investigations into alleged Un-American activities. The amazing thing is how well the play works on its own. Even if you know nothing of McCarthyism, you will still be moved by the plight of a small Massachusetts village wracked by lies, spitefulness and cruelty. "I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" In one of the most chilling scenes, young girls begin rattling off the names of seemingly every woman in the village. That the townsfolk would take the word of a few of teenagers seems hard to believe, but darker forces were at work here. Men more concerned with their reputations and the chance to fill their coffers than they were fearful of actual witchcraft were in charge, and they grabbed the opportunity to settle old grudges and steal a neighbor's land. The girls, many stinging from slights both real and imagined, reveled in their newly found power to wreak vengeance against their former mistresses and employers. This is truly a depiction of humanity at its worst. When John Hale, a visiting reverend who has been charged with investigating Salem's little witch problem, declares: "No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village." - he has no idea how right he is, though this darkness has nothing to do with the supernatural. It seems we are always willing to believe the worst in others; that they might be witches, or Communists or terrorists. It seems that no matter what the evidence, we continue to believe what we want to believe. If nothing else, this play serves as a cautionary tale. Will we listen and learn?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I'll never stop thinking about this... it was incredible

  13. 4 out of 5

    pinkgal

    It was one of those rare books that are forced upon you and then when you read it, you fall. Hard. While Miller might have written it with the McCarthy Era in mind, it applies very well to the current era of singling out a group of people and labeling them as 'evil'. I reread it a few months back and it still gave me the chills. Proof of what the power of fear has. I'd recommend this to anyone and everyone, though if you're not one for symbolism and parallels, this might not work as well. ;)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    “We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” There is a remarkably harrowing scene in Frank Darabont’s expertly executed 2007 film adaptation of Stephen King’s lovecraftian novella The Mist. The stage for this particular drama to unfold: A group of denizens of a small rural town are holed up in a grocery store, enveloped by a mysterious, impossibly thick mist. To venture outside is inadvisable, s “We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” There is a remarkably harrowing scene in Frank Darabont’s expertly executed 2007 film adaptation of Stephen King’s lovecraftian novella The Mist. The stage for this particular drama to unfold: A group of denizens of a small rural town are holed up in a grocery store, enveloped by a mysterious, impossibly thick mist. To venture outside is inadvisable, since some of them have already been lost to the unfriendly creatures lurking outside. No one knows what is going on, or whether their loved ones are still alive. Fear, despair and panic reign supreme. Soon, a feverish cult– stoked by an evangelical, unbearably sanctimonious zealot, gathering ever more disciples around her – takes shape, and the search for a scapegoat is well underway. After two soldiers have hanged themselves, a third – the last one of their group - confesses under pressure that he and his compatriots served on a military base where clandestine experiments were conducted in order to attempt communication with other dimensions. Put simply: It all went to hell in a handbasket. A portal opened up, which spewed forth the strange mist and a horde of creatures, an outcome which could very well spell doom for the entire world. And thus, the scapegoat has been found, and – after enthusiastic prompting by their cult leader - is promptly and under a loud clamouring sacrificed by the mob. A butcher, striding towards him like an automaton, viciously stabs the soldier multiple times in the lower abdomen, after which he – still alive- is thrown out of the store, to be offered up to the creatures outside. He pleads to be let back in, but is faced by the door, which will never again be opened up to him. Something grabs him, and pulls him into the mist. The real monsters are still inside, looking on. When I saw the film at its release, this scene absolutely terrified me. Mob mentality (the willing surrendering of one’s own individual morality or sovereignty) to me has always been the ugliest aspect of the human psyche. Whenever I see it occur, a deep revulsion fills my being. Yet, I am also eternally fascinated by it. To be able to arrive at some kind of – admittedly uneasy - peace with this unpleasant reality, and more importantly to not be swept up by it when it comes, to face it head on and not budge an inch, is something that has kept me preoccupied for many years. It’s one of the greatest moral responsibilities any human could ever confront. While radically different in its approach to The Mist in its portrayal of the inevitable fallout of hysterical groupthink, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible does leave one reeling for its sheer visceral power. None of the many examples of man’s inhumanity to man during the infamous Salem witch trials are directly shown, only briefly commented on, yet the paranoia and suffocating atmosphere are captured perfectly. Miller has a great ear for authentic dialogue, and deftly uses the idiom of 17th century English to craft a supreme human drama which elicits both sadness and righteous indignation. A play which, I imagine, would be even more brutal to witness at a live performance. Essential in whichever way you opt to experience it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie♡

    3.5 😱😱 Este libro… No sé ni siquiera cómo reseñarlo. Es que es increíble. No, sin palabras. Me ha dado mucha rabia todo. Es realmente interesante porque está enfocado en los aspectos sociales y políticos de la caza de brujas en Salem e increíble hasta dónde puede llegar la histeria del ser humano.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josh Caporale

    4.5 stars I would imagine that most people are familiar with The Crucible, but for those that are not, The Crucible is a play Arthur Miller wrote about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote this in the early 1950s as a response to the dangers that Joseph McCarthy's actions toward declaring that people were "Communists" and how this is a case of history repeating itself a little more than 250 years later. In the late 1690s, young girls were making accusations toward who they believed were witches t 4.5 stars I would imagine that most people are familiar with The Crucible, but for those that are not, The Crucible is a play Arthur Miller wrote about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote this in the early 1950s as a response to the dangers that Joseph McCarthy's actions toward declaring that people were "Communists" and how this is a case of history repeating itself a little more than 250 years later. In the late 1690s, young girls were making accusations toward who they believed were witches that resulted in the hanging of nineteen people and the pressing of one. Back in that day, witchcraft was viewed as "business with the devil." The issues that is timeless, whether it be during the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism, or anywhere beyond that point is the fact that everyone would have it in them to serve out what they feel to be God's will, whether they be reverends that see themselves as a religious authority, judges that see themselves as a legal authority, or young girls that feel they are making something of themselves by doing what they feel is God's duty. This play brought out a lot of responses, from anger to enlightenment. I felt greatly sympathetic toward John Proctor, who was a flawed man, but one that wanted to live and let live and anger toward multiple characters, but especially Abigail, the leader among the girls, in how she manipulated and blackmailed everyone she came across. Arthur Miller gave life to each of the characters (who were or were based on real people) in this play to the point that you are bound to feel something toward each of them and either care, cringe, or get that feeling you want to punch them in the face. It certainly made its mark in that respect. While there were things that were intentionally altered, such as the girls being made a bit older in order to make John Proctor's affair with Abigail look a bit more logical, I still feel that this novel made a legitimate point in what it was attempting to get at. I read The Crucible back in high school and committed an entire unit to it. I remember watching the 1996 film adaptation with Daniel Day Lewis as John Proctor, Winona Ryder as Abigail Williams, and Paul Scofield as Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth (who I felt was the standout role in the film). We also had to create a comic book based on The Crucible, which was fun. I felt that now was the time for a revisit. Here is a discussion I had about The Crucible on Literary Gladiators (though it does contain spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I7F7...

  17. 5 out of 5

    ReadLikeWildFire ReadLikeWildFire

    Rating: 4.6 Review *Mild Spoilers*: The Crucible by Arthur Miller conveys the corruption of society, and the manipulation someone can cause that affects all aspect of the preservation of a fragile society. So, i had to read this book for Lit, and so i was all: So Before i bore you with my actual review, here are my reactions to the book through gifs. Abigail sentencing Elizabeth: When Danforth offered to see Mary Warren's side: Mr Putnam killing of his foes for land: Rebecca Nurse not confessing: John R Rating: 4.6 Review *Mild Spoilers*: The Crucible by Arthur Miller conveys the corruption of society, and the manipulation someone can cause that affects all aspect of the preservation of a fragile society. So, i had to read this book for Lit, and so i was all: So Before i bore you with my actual review, here are my reactions to the book through gifs. Abigail sentencing Elizabeth: When Danforth offered to see Mary Warren's side: Mr Putnam killing of his foes for land: Rebecca Nurse not confessing: John Ripping Up the Contract: Characters: If I had one word to describe the characters of this book, It would be deceiving. I was deceived utterly from start to finish. You would think that an author always conveys his main character first, and therefore, I stupidly stood beside Abigail, Betty and Reverend Parris at the start. I skimmed through the paragraphs that announced the history and the personality of each character, because I wanted to find that out myself. I didn’t want to be told. I came to respect Proctor and his choices, even right to the end when he aimed to confess but didn’t end up doing it. I know we all have our own morals, but the conflicting choices Proctor went through what suited him, and made him. Abigail is so good at being someone you would want to be on the same side with. She is convincing. I just love her. I just hate her. I must be with the devil. SEE! SHE HAS ALREADY CAPTURED ME WITHIN HER TALONS. But really, I hate her morals. Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was John Proctor and Abigail’s relationship. At the start, I hate to say, I was looking forward to their relationship. I know undoubtedly that cheating on your partner is wrong, but it seems to be yearned for in books. We want to see some forbidden love, some slave girl fall for her handsome young master. But not when that girl is a total BITCH. Not even Ely could outrun that whore. The only person I truly liked for every bone in their body was Elizabeth Proctor. Reverend Hale was interesting but I didn’t understand how he was not influenced by society when he walked out of that court. The court must have been such a great pressure on him. Plot: I thought the plot was attention grabbing. I didn’t know that the outcome would be the outcome it was, and that made it better. I liked that he was not the hero, but neither was the villain. I liked that none of the characters were heroes and villains, but some just tasting darkness and others being overwhelmed by other. What I didn’t understand was why if u confessed that you were with the devil, and they didn’t hang u. Salem was so corrupted. It was slightly more corrupted than now. Some would say otherwise.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia Sapphire

    3.5ish

  19. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    What a gripping story. This could be redone into a dystopian YA novel and it is set in history. It is a powerful work. How terrifying it is that people can be so brutal to each other. A very dark bit of American history. Not the best story to read during 45. I hope we don't repeat this sort of history. The story is good and it leaves me in a dark mood. I don't think I'll read this again and I'm glad of the reminder of it. I need something lighter now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    About as perfect an allegory as can be created – a story about a witch hunt meant to be an extended metaphor for - a witch hunt. “You are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore”  Arthur Miller’s brilliant 1953 play about the infamous Salem witch trials is also a scathing indictment of the McCarthy communist hearings of the early 50s and how hysteria – whether theocratic or jingoistic / political – can lead to nasty results. “Life, woman, life is God's most precious gift; no principle, however g About as perfect an allegory as can be created – a story about a witch hunt meant to be an extended metaphor for - a witch hunt. “You are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore”  Arthur Miller’s brilliant 1953 play about the infamous Salem witch trials is also a scathing indictment of the McCarthy communist hearings of the early 50s and how hysteria – whether theocratic or jingoistic / political – can lead to nasty results. “Life, woman, life is God's most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it.”  Miller’s fictionalized account of the trials brings to life some of the themes present in the actual Salem trials as well as his contemporary McCarthy hearings such as justice, fairness, and the rule of law. Allegations were as good as proof of guilt and someone could only “prove” themselves innocent with a confession. Such an upside down world must have seemed as illogical and insane in the 1600s as in the 1950s. “We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” Miller’s John Proctor is one of the great tragic figures in modern drama. Tormented by his own sins, and incapable of forgiving himself, Proctor is nonetheless man enough to finally stand up to the tyrants. The final scenes with him are high points on the stage in any era. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”  One of the works of literature and drama that should be read or seen at least once.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    To start off 2016, I decided that chance should pick my first read. So I got my Book Jar off the shelf and asked my little brother to draw for me...and this is what he came up with. I was a bit disappointed because I was sure it would be boring, but it proved a pleasant surprise because I enjoyed myself a lot! If anyone had recommended this to me saying "Anne, you're going to love this heretic 17th century play about a village that goes crazy and starts putting random people in jail. You'll laugh To start off 2016, I decided that chance should pick my first read. So I got my Book Jar off the shelf and asked my little brother to draw for me...and this is what he came up with. I was a bit disappointed because I was sure it would be boring, but it proved a pleasant surprise because I enjoyed myself a lot! If anyone had recommended this to me saying "Anne, you're going to love this heretic 17th century play about a village that goes crazy and starts putting random people in jail. You'll laugh your head off.", I would have been in serious disbelief and would probably never have read it. Thankfully I knew nothing of it, and found that reading about witchcraft and heresy was not so bad after all. I know it's not meant to be a diverting story and I'm probably pretty crazy to have even laughed at all, but some parts just came off as really amusing and I couldn't help it. I'd go about telling the entire household to draw back their spirits whenever I felt a draught, and blamed that suspicious-looking man I passed on the street for the chill I caught afterwards. Oh, and that mouse I just saw in my dining-room? Definitely the previous house owner who sent it to torment me. If you've read this book, you know what I mean, and if you haven't, give it a shot. It's different, interesting, and full of the intricacies of human nature.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Helga

    "Oh, the noose, the noose is up!" What an intense and disturbing read! The crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953, about the destructive nature of superstition, ignorance, fear, corruption, greed and vengeance. It is ostensibly based on the witch trials in Salem in the seventeenth century, but is truly inspired by the persecutions of communists and “unAmericans” by Senator McCarthy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kierstin

    "Bleh. Just... bleh. I definitely did NOT enjoy reading this in the eighth grade, nor will I EVER like reading it in the years to come!" That was the review I wrote right after finishing it three years ago from now (2010). After reading it a second time for my junior year, now I can at least understand the text! Schools often make kids read literature that is too mature for their age group, and I have come to find that even a single year's difference can make or break one's comprehension of the bo "Bleh. Just... bleh. I definitely did NOT enjoy reading this in the eighth grade, nor will I EVER like reading it in the years to come!" That was the review I wrote right after finishing it three years ago from now (2010). After reading it a second time for my junior year, now I can at least understand the text! Schools often make kids read literature that is too mature for their age group, and I have come to find that even a single year's difference can make or break one's comprehension of the book. Now I can say that I appreciate the play for what it is, and I especially admire John Proctor's courage portrayed throughout. He made an awful mistake but had the courage to confess and make a stand against his wrongdoing, even if it resulted in his paying the price for it. That spoke novels to me. It wasn't a favorite read of mine, but Miller's message of self-confession and the precarious state of society were interesting and thought-provoking nevertheless.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Azumi

    Describe perfectamente el fanatismo, la estupidez general y el histerismo colectivo, sacando lo malo de toda colectividad, describiendo como se va haciendo una bola de mentiras, odios y tonterías cada vez más grande. Como se aprovechan algunos de la situación para vengarse de los demás, con mentiras y falsos testimonios y como los demás, como borregos, se lo creen absolutamente todo como si fuera verdad o por comodidad. ¡Indignante! Realmente los seres humanos podemos llegar a alcanzar cotas alt Describe perfectamente el fanatismo, la estupidez general y el histerismo colectivo, sacando lo malo de toda colectividad, describiendo como se va haciendo una bola de mentiras, odios y tonterías cada vez más grande. Como se aprovechan algunos de la situación para vengarse de los demás, con mentiras y falsos testimonios y como los demás, como borregos, se lo creen absolutamente todo como si fuera verdad o por comodidad. ¡Indignante! Realmente los seres humanos podemos llegar a alcanzar cotas altísimas de estupidez. De vergüenza ajena. Algunos personajes me han llegado a sacar completamente de quicio. Lo peor de todo es que fue verdad ^-^ El personaje de John Proctor el mejor de toda la obra. Me encantaría ver esta obra representada, tiene que ser una magnífica obra de teatro y me gustaría mucho leer otras novelas con esta temática ¿alguien tiene alguna recomendación? El guión de cine no está mal, ahora me han entrado ganas de ver la película.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Arthur Miller's scathing indictment of 50's era McCarthyism was more interesting than I thought it would be. Miller set the piece in Salem, MA during the infamous 1692 witch trials. The play itself is divided into four acts and features the struggles individual villagers face as they are confronted with a hellish choice between hanging for witchcraft or falsely confessing, a choice which leads to the death of others. The action is driven by a posse of teenage girls. In order to escape punishment Arthur Miller's scathing indictment of 50's era McCarthyism was more interesting than I thought it would be. Miller set the piece in Salem, MA during the infamous 1692 witch trials. The play itself is divided into four acts and features the struggles individual villagers face as they are confronted with a hellish choice between hanging for witchcraft or falsely confessing, a choice which leads to the death of others. The action is driven by a posse of teenage girls. In order to escape punishment for dancing in the woods (a verboten activity for Puritans) the girls begin accusing community members of bewitching them. Their fever catches on and burns up the entire village as reason, justice, and mercy are swept away in the raging tide of repression, revenge, and corruption. The play makes the adjective puritannical take on a whole new meaning.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emir Ibañez

    Es tenebrosa, explora partes de la naturaleza humana que te dejan pasmado... pero lo que más miedo da es que, a pesar de estar escrito a modo de obra de teatro, no es una obra de ficción.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    It never gets old though the tragedy does especially when history seems doomed to keep repeating itself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sketchbook

    Another baaad Artie Miller metaphor. It doesnt take a lot of deep-think to explain Why. Folklore-friendly Miller sloppily sees the hysterical McCarthy Era of the 50s as a parallel to the Salem witch hunts of the 17thC. Aye, here's the rub : We know that "witches" do not exist. We know that Communists did exist, worked in US government. Were Russ spies. So, any matchup w Salem is cockeyed mellercuckoo. Does this understanding require intelligence?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lidia

    Quizá sea un 3,5. Me ha gustado más de lo que esperaba y he echado en falta una introducción sobre el origen y sentido de la obra (poner en evidencia la caza de brujas del comité de actividades antiamericanas). La última parte engancha y angustia, por lo injusto del proceso. En general, se lee en un par de tardes y deja buen sabor de boca.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    O confiesas que eres bruja o te ahorcamos... ¡Qué rabia me ha dado todo en esta historia! Ahora quiero seguir leyendo cosas sobre esta historia para conocer bien las razones de todo lo que sucedió. Abigail se ha convertido en uno de los personajes más odiosos que he leído.

  31. 5 out of 5

    Paola C

    Me ha parecido muy interesante esta obra ambientada en Salem en la época de la quema de brujas cuando todo un pueblo estaba bajo el influjo de la teocracia. Cualquiera era sospechoso de haber tratado con el Diablo y tanto si lo negabas como si lo admitías acababas perjudicado. Durante toda la obra vas sospechando de quien dice la verdad y quien miente, cosa que me ha mantenido enganchada y no he podido parar de leerlo hasta acabarlo. Es un 3,5 estrellas, que no está nada mal!

  32. 5 out of 5

    Gabyal

    Me ha gustado como ha plasmado en la obra de teatro el escritor los hechos sobre la caza de brujas en Salem. Fue una época verídica, en la que sucumbieron algunas personas y se dejaron influenciar por otras en el culto al diablo, cuando realmente no era verdad. Los juicios fueron en su momento justos según el punto de vista de los jueces involucrados y los acontecimientos de la época, y nos llevó de la mano por todo el proceso que vivieron en ese tiempo.

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    This was a very unexpected and enjoyable read for me. Yes, every character had at least one major flaw. Yes, these idiots in Salem made my blood pressure go up more and more with every act. That being said, I did enjoy the overall plot and drama of the play and now have newfound respect for the women and men affected by the Salem Witch Trials.

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey • [lit + wit] •

    I may be in the minority here, but I love me a female villain that has little to no redeemable qualities. Not even kidding. This could be because *almost* every single thing Americans read in high school involves a male narrator (TKAM is the exception, and Scout Finch is a tomboy, so...) surrounded by terrible women whose sole purpose is to somehow ruin the man’s life. Why do I love these despicable women? Because it’s fun finding reasons they’re motivated to be awful while everyone else in the I may be in the minority here, but I love me a female villain that has little to no redeemable qualities. Not even kidding. This could be because *almost* every single thing Americans read in high school involves a male narrator (TKAM is the exception, and Scout Finch is a tomboy, so...) surrounded by terrible women whose sole purpose is to somehow ruin the man’s life. Why do I love these despicable women? Because it’s fun finding reasons they’re motivated to be awful while everyone else in the audience is busy loathing them (looking at you, Cersei Lannister and Delores Umbridge). John Proctor can call Abigail Williams a whore all the live long day, but she’s not the one who is cheating on anyone. She’s also half his age. She also lives in a society that repressed everyone, but women in particular, while they all lived in fear of their own shadows thanks to their angry God and snooping neighbors. Their children were seen, not heard. Everyone spent all day, every day working and praying. Except Sunday—then you were just praying. She had a lot of pent up energy, so when John Proctor showed her a way to...ehm...channel it...there was no going back. Also, they were all tripping balls thanks to ergotism poisoning, so she probably actually did see a few of those “spirits” flying around the courtroom. She was still a horrible human being. But, I sure do love revisiting the insanity of 1692 every so often. P.S.—Giles Corey was a badass. I’m positive historical censorship rewrote his last words, because they most absolutely had to be, “More weight, motherfuckers.” 🎤

  35. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    So a load of London theatres are doing this fantastic thing where they film West End and other professionally-produced plays, and then you go along to your local cinema on one or two nights and watch. From a producer's perspective, it makes astonishingly good sense: with a play, you're limited by how many people you can fit in the theatre, and if you hoick the prices up to £50 for a seat in the gods, you're going to get called elitist. For people like me, it's also great because London is a bit So a load of London theatres are doing this fantastic thing where they film West End and other professionally-produced plays, and then you go along to your local cinema on one or two nights and watch. From a producer's perspective, it makes astonishingly good sense: with a play, you're limited by how many people you can fit in the theatre, and if you hoick the prices up to £50 for a seat in the gods, you're going to get called elitist. For people like me, it's also great because London is a bit of a commute from Scotland, and it has the bonus side effect of letting me introduce The Boy to interesting theatre without making him pay £25 a shot for something I'm not even sure he's going to like. Last night, we went to see The Crucible , and while I had a reasonably good time, Richard Armitage was in his shouty, shirt-torn element, and I have my usual complaints about what filming scene changes does to your pacing (three and a half hours! three! and a half!), this is the third time I've seen the play now so I thought I'd give it a Goodreads-related run for its money. I... am not, generally speaking, much of a fan of Arthur Miller. I studied A View From the Bridge when I was fifteen (the only English essay I've ever failed, in fact!), and I've sat through one or two others, and The Crucible is the only work of his that I've consistently found I can sit through. It's a shame: there are some parts of his fingerprint as a writer that I can really get behind. Things like only having one set per act, so that it's like having the bell-ringing changes as characters come on and offstage in interesting variations. He ratchets up the tension til it hurts, and routinely leaves his characters no way out. I like how he writes dialect, and I love how he writes stage directions - pages of the damn things, so that a whole lot of plot happens in complete silence. On the other hand, I have never met a play performed in near-total darkness that I've thought yeah, this is fantastic, more of this.* And for me, The Crucible collapses a bit under its own weight. The first act, so fresh, so interesting, so full of contrast, has a pace that I've never seen a cast be able to keep up, and the writing really doesn't help them do it. So at the very end, with the last big confrontation, I'm invariably in such a stupor that I can't quite rouse myself to care enough. Arthur. Arthur. Not even your all-lady Shakespearean Fool's Interlude can pep me up enough to keep going. It feels like sludge; long, written-out sludge, and not even sitting right next to the stage while someone acts their little heart out can save it. But, hey. What about the plot? The plot is God-given, surely - I always keep a look out for McCarthy references, and I never see them. I know that Miller wrote the play shortly after being questioned about his links to Communism, but other than his clearly having quite an affinity for John Proctor (who gets all the girls, and the moral high ground to boot!), and the fact that Look You Guys It's A Witch Hunt, I can't see anything specifically bent in the direction of social commentary about the 1950s. It all seems straight down the line Salem, to me - and any social aspect seems to be far more generic than tailored. Some things don't change. There's no allegory here, except where you want to put it yourself, like if you read Dune in the 2010s. And the plot is good, although I could have done with more Abigail Williams - she's the fascinating one, don't you think? and the first act is so promising - and if you look at the actual history, I count myself among the chorus of people in favour of More Giles Corey, More Of The Time. When I was a teenager (about the time I was writing that godawful essay about A View from the Bridge, as it happens), I came across a transcript online of Tituba's testimony, about which I was obsessed for a good fortnight. There are a whole lot of good angles for storytelling in the Salem Witch Trials. Last night, The Boy was expecting more commentary on the senselessness of the crimes, now that we know for certain that witchcraft doesn't exist. I want, I always want, more commentary on women having power in a place where they don't usually have it, and how they then end up exercising it predominantly over other women. Maybe we both have problems with what this play is not, rather than what it is. Maybe the "you can take my soul, but you can't take my naaaaaame!" angle is just rather out of fashion at the moment. Last night, I liked it, but I didn't love it. The time before, I liked it, but I didn't love it. On the occasions I've read The Crucible, much as I love wallowing in the stage directions and descriptions of set, I always seem to kind of like it, but I never really love it. *Simon Stephens did one set almost entirely in the back of a taxi at three o'clock in the morning. I light opped it once. If you ever get the chance to see it, I urge you to reconsider your choices. UPDATE: I read this properly, because I had to teach a tutorial on it this afternoon! First of all, not even reading Arthur Miller makes me like him more. Second of all, Student and I nerded out about feminism and Why This Is Not The Most Interesting Thing About The Salem Witch Trials, Plus Also Abigail Williams Was Twelve So Stop Calling Her A Whore, Arthur. And thirdly (and most excitingly) I found the McCarthyism! I almost wish I hadn't. It was hiding in the Act Two stage directions. Having done both, I prefer watching The Crucible to reading the script of it, and on balance I think I moderately prefer other people to Arthur Miller.

  36. 5 out of 5

    HazelSora

    Terrible hasta que punto puede llegar la histeria del ser humano. A medida que lo iba leyendo no podía dejar de ver paralelismos con nuestra realidad actual, a pesar de que esta obra data de 1953 y está ambientada en el siglo XVII . No hay más que darse un paseo por twitter para ver de lo que hablo. Y es que el ser humano sigue siendo ser humano, aunque ahora la quema de brujas no sea de forma literal.

  37. 5 out of 5

    CA

    En la historia del mundo hay varias partes que parecen imposibles de creer y para mi siempre a sido una de ellas la de los juicios de Salem, donde un par de niñas decide acusar de brujería a medio pueblo y el pueblo, de hecho les cree. Por supuesto se entiende en el contexto histórico de la época como algo así llegó a suceder pero no por eso deja de ser un hecho bizarro. Sobre el libro en si….es una obra muy resumida de lo que fueron los juicios de brujería y en ese aspecto me dejó queriendo un En la historia del mundo hay varias partes que parecen imposibles de creer y para mi siempre a sido una de ellas la de los juicios de Salem, donde un par de niñas decide acusar de brujería a medio pueblo y el pueblo, de hecho les cree. Por supuesto se entiende en el contexto histórico de la época como algo así llegó a suceder pero no por eso deja de ser un hecho bizarro. Sobre el libro en si….es una obra muy resumida de lo que fueron los juicios de brujería y en ese aspecto me dejó queriendo un poco más, a pesar de eso y que esta edición trae El crisol yo solo leí Las brujas de Salem porque leer una transcripción de la película no suena para nada atractivo para mi que ya de por si no disfruta de textos que son en su mayoría diálogos. En realidad no hay mucho que decir, es una lectura extremadamente rápida que te da una mirada superficial de lo que fue pero que es fácil de leer y se disfruta.

  38. 4 out of 5

    Merna

    It’s a very underwhelming play. I think it’s mostly because you know which direction the play is heading towards, so you don’t expect anything. I think this play is primarily to be judged by its analogy (and allegory) to McCarthyism. Was it a good analogy? Did it make me think deeply about the mass hysteria and its implications? I can merely say that I now have an example to use every time mass hysteria grips a nation or the world. “Stop being hysterical. This all like the Salem witch trials. It It’s a very underwhelming play. I think it’s mostly because you know which direction the play is heading towards, so you don’t expect anything. I think this play is primarily to be judged by its analogy (and allegory) to McCarthyism. Was it a good analogy? Did it make me think deeply about the mass hysteria and its implications? I can merely say that I now have an example to use every time mass hysteria grips a nation or the world. “Stop being hysterical. This all like the Salem witch trials. It’s all so typical and backwards of you to react in the same manner as people from the 17th century. I’m so above that.” Of course, the similarities of the of Salem witch trials to McCarthyism is undeniable. The suspected Communists were encouraged to confess and to identify other communist sympathizers as a way of escaping punishment, which was alike to the way that suspected witches in Salem were encouraged to confess and then identify other witches in order to save themselves from being hanged. And this all ended up creating a rapid stream of accusations, which there was no basis of evidence for. The only problems with the analogy, as other have pointed out, is that witches don’t exist, but communists do. Arthur miller disagreed with people who said his analogy doesn’t hold up because of this fault. Arthur Miller pointed out that people in the 17th century certainly believed that witches were real. People from the 17th century alleged that if you did not believe in the supernatural existence of witches and demons then you must also the deny the supernatural existence of god. I think that’s a fair argument by Arthur Miller. It wasn’t quite the analogy of McCarthyism that had me thinking. It was the rule of theocracy and how it worked. I’ve never quite thought much about theocracy, but I now truly understand the extent of how horrible it is after reading the play. In 17th century Massachusetts, the court is suppose to represent the divine justice, and to ever admit the mistake of the court would mean to question divine justice (god). Of course, this make it hard for the court to dispense justice when it was constantly concerned about being wrong for that would bring god into question. However, I think this hasn’t completely disappeared in the modern day. For the court to admit mistake in the present day would bring its authority into question. I can only think about rulings in the United States like Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States and Citizens united, and to me they truly do undermine the authority of the court.

  39. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” This was one of the most powerful stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Although pleasure does not seem an apt word to summarize this reading experience. Haunting, poignant, intoxicating, distressing, portentous- these adjectives are much more s “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” This was one of the most powerful stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Although pleasure does not seem an apt word to summarize this reading experience. Haunting, poignant, intoxicating, distressing, portentous- these adjectives are much more suitable. The story is set in the Puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with the events depicted contributing to the start of the infamous Salem Witch trials. The whole play emitted an eerie and ominous quality that was made even more intense by my modern perspective of the actual events that took place. But knowing the facts and having then re-imagined are quite a different thing. The hysteria that ensues in this novel feels almost unbelievable, and yet it is a part of American history. The actions of the young women of the novel feels exaggerated and amplified, and it makes for a poignant reading when you know that this is not the case at all. This is a phenomenal and accurate portrayal of historical events that really brings to life a whole generation of people and a whole era of history.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kaila

    4.5/5 stars “Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.” The Crucible is definitely one of the best plays that I have ever read. It's intense, very well written and can be related to so many points in history. The portrayal of fear and hysteria is so accurate and Arthur Miller expertly examined human reactions. So many times I have pondered over this play in relation to events of this year since this is just a historically relatable plays. The situation is complet 4.5/5 stars “Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.” The Crucible is definitely one of the best plays that I have ever read. It's intense, very well written and can be related to so many points in history. The portrayal of fear and hysteria is so accurate and Arthur Miller expertly examined human reactions. So many times I have pondered over this play in relation to events of this year since this is just a historically relatable plays. The situation is completely different but the themes carried through the play can be seen in all parts of history. This was a phenomenal play!

  41. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Weil ich mir das Stück am kommenden Mittwoch ansehen werde. Durch die Brille des Zeitgeistes gelesen, ängstig mich dieses Stück. Schlimmer noch - dass es auf eine wahre Begebenheit verweist und das dazu erforderliche Weltbild, das diese Geschehnisse überhaupt erst möglich machte, wieder in manchen Köpfen (viel zu vielen) erstarkt ist, dreht mir regelrecht den Magen um. Ich weiß jetzt schon, dass ich das Theater ziemlich aufgebracht verlassen werde.

  42. 4 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    The beginning was incredible. So much drama introduced so quickly, with the conflicting goals of the different characters. And the stakes are pretty high, considering everyone is trapped in a life-or-death situation. The stakes started about as high as they could get, and the drama seemed to reach it's peek also in the first act. So it didn't feel like the story was growing or evolving enough.

  43. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Catching up with the classics # 30

  44. 5 out of 5

    Xfi

    Intensa y dramática. En esta obra se pone de manifiesto como el miedo, la ignorancia y la manipulación puede convertir a una pacífica comunidad en una horda de asesinos. El egoísmo mezclado con el fanatismo religioso provoca una escalada de la histería en un pequeño pueblo logrando una cadena de falsas delaciones. Arthur Miller logra crear ese clima de creciente histeria de una manera magistral, haciendo que te revuelvas en tu asiento mientras lees el libro. Para lograrlo basta un grupo de gente Intensa y dramática. En esta obra se pone de manifiesto como el miedo, la ignorancia y la manipulación puede convertir a una pacífica comunidad en una horda de asesinos. El egoísmo mezclado con el fanatismo religioso provoca una escalada de la histería en un pequeño pueblo logrando una cadena de falsas delaciones. Arthur Miller logra crear ese clima de creciente histeria de una manera magistral, haciendo que te revuelvas en tu asiento mientras lees el libro. Para lograrlo basta un grupo de gente interesada en eliminar a sus enemigos y un "tonto útil" que sirva de catalizador, en este caso es Abigail, sociópata, inmadura, cobarde y despechada, uno de los personajes más odiosos de la literatura, pero que al final es otra victima desechada cuando consigue exactamente todo lo contrario de lo que pretendía. Arthur Miller escribió esta obra de teatro solo como venganza y vergüenza por el comportamiento de su amigo Elia Kazan (uno de los mejores directores de cine y teatro de la historia) que sucumbió a la presión y chantaje del tribunal de actividades antiamericanas y delató, en falso como en esta obra, a sus amigos a cambio de seguir trabajando en Hollywood. Cuentan que le envió la primera copia del libro a Kazan para que se avergonzara de su comportamiento. Menuda maravilla de venganza, dándole a la humanidad una obra maestra de la literatura. La "caza de brujas" o Red Scare de los años 50 es uno de los episodios más negros de la historia reciente de los USA y este libro es una denuncia nada sutil de la manipulación de las masas, que son puestas al servicio de intereses políticos o religiosos creándoles miedo a lo desconocido o al diferente.

  45. 5 out of 5

    Michelle (Sherbet Lemon)

    *sigh* I had no expectations when I downloaded this, I just thought I should give it a listen as it is short and a classic. Basically the plot of this is the Salem Witch trials. While I did like the lengths to which the husband and wife were going to, in order to protect each other, the sense of the play I got from the audio format I listened to was just one of franticness. Now of course with all this bat shit craziness going on people would be frantic, but I wanted more. This narrative is one t *sigh* I had no expectations when I downloaded this, I just thought I should give it a listen as it is short and a classic. Basically the plot of this is the Salem Witch trials. While I did like the lengths to which the husband and wife were going to, in order to protect each other, the sense of the play I got from the audio format I listened to was just one of franticness. Now of course with all this bat shit craziness going on people would be frantic, but I wanted more. This narrative is one that we've seen so many times before, and it might be more effecting seeing it on a stage but simply listening to it or reading it I was very meh. Also, while the trials of course came on very suddenly I feel like the deaths would have effected the audience more of the play had been a little bit longer and people got to know the townsfolk first. It's one reason why I don't like Attack on Titan (you don't get to know the characters before they are cruelly killed) but do like Game of Thrones (we'll make you love them and then we'll kill them). Character deaths are so much more effective when you really know the person / character first. Of course this is just purely a my opinion thing, but that's one reason why I didn't connect with this more.

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