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The Crucible

A Play in Four Acts (Penguin Modern Classics)

By Arthur Miller

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Format: Paperback, 144 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 24 February 2000
Arthur Miller's classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 - 'one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history' - and the American anti-communist purges led by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s. The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations. A depiction of innocent men and women destroyed by malicious rumour, The Crucible is also a powerful indictment of McCarthyism and the 'frontier mentality' of Cold War America.

About the Author

American dramatist Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. In 1938 Miller won awards for his comedy The Grass Still Grows. His major achievement was Death of a Salesman, which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the 1949 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. The Crucible was aimed at the widespread congressional investigation of subversive activities in the US; the drama won the 1953 Tony Award. Miller's autobiography, Timebends: A Life was published in 1987.

EAN: 9780141182551
ISBN: 0141182555
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 0.8 centimetres (0.06 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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Reviews

4 of 5 Stars! '

To students who have to study this play, get an audio version and follow along in your book. It makes it a much easier read. Having taught this play for a few years now, it's astounding the depth of meaning that Miller has invested in the play. Not only does it reflect on the hysteria of 1692 Salem but it is also a poignant reminder of how history tends to repeat itself and human nature, with its insatiable need to fit in and be noticed alongside its incredible strength, has barely changed in over three hundred years. I find Rebecca Nurse an intriguing character - she is the personification of goodness and it is her persecution that is felt most sharply.

 

2 of 5 Stars! '

Having to read this for english this year, one person in the class likes it.. That isn't me i find it good to read before i go to bed as it puts me to aleep, however it does have interesting theme's and characters, particulary Abigail and John Proctor

 

4 of 5 Stars! '

I had to read this for school last year, and although everyone else seemed to hate it I loved it. It has some very interesting themes, the most interesting with the character of John Proctor, a devout religious man dealing with his own inner insecurites. It also focuses on ideas of mass hysteria through the salem witch burnings. All in a all, a very good play that managed to hold me alot more than shakespear ever has.

 

4 of 5 Stars! '

Based on actual events - the infamous Salem Witchhunt - The Crucible is a searingly intense play about the trials at the center of the Salem Witchhunt. Where jealousy and insecurity spark off a devastating chain of events with neighbor turning against neighbor and no one able to trust anyone. There are no easy moral solutions on offer and this is part of the play's power.

 
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