The Crucible
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crucible

by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  169,165 ratings  ·  3,497 reviews
"I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In th...more
Paperback, 143 pages
Published March 25th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1953)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Crucible, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Michael Headrick It is a criticism of McCarthy's tactics because in both The Crucible and the "The Red Scare," those that were accused and didn't want to be hung
(The…more
It is a criticism of McCarthy's tactics because in both The Crucible and the "The Red Scare," those that were accused and didn't want to be hung
(The Crucible), or put in jail (The Red Scare), confessed and blamed someone else so they could feel like they got off without any form of criticism or punishment.(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Books Ever
199th out of 32,311 books — 127,064 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee1984 by George OrwellHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once
163rd out of 11,966 books — 59,103 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
Jonathan
"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...more
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. ;)
Catherine
Oct 01, 2007 Catherine rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: High School Juniors (because the state says so)
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...more
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...more
Kierstin
Dec 05, 2013 Kierstin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kierstin by: Historic People
"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...more
Kate (Phoenix Reads)
**Are you a witch? Would you survive the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials?

Find out with the following quiz!**


If you are single, you are a witch.

If you are homeless, you are a witch.

If you are a midwife, you are a witch.

If you have dolls, you are a witch.

If you look funny, you are a witch.

If you look at someone else funny, you are a witch.

If you are a woman, you are a witch.

If someone hates you, you are a witch.

If a child dies and the mother knows you, you are a witch.

If you are not a witch, y
...more
Nightfalltwen
I do have to say that seeing this play preformed is ultimately and unequivocally more rewarding than reading it from a book. The emotions of the actors on stage (I saw it on stage before I read it and long before it was made into a movie) brings the words to life.

That said, this is such a haunting tale. I know it was written right during the whole McCarthyism era in the USA and comparing the communist accusations to the Salem witch hunts is one of the best parallels I have seen.

You see how it al...more
Jeanne
What can I say? I hated this. I hated it when I read it in high school, and I hate it now.

So, Arthur Miller allegedly wrote this in response to the McCarthy era, which we all know was the witch hunt of the 1950s. And, instead of setting it in the 1950s, he set his play in the time of the Salem witch trials. Clever, no?

And this is why the play is so unreadable. Who wants to read a play that takes place in the 17th century? Who wants to read about characters known as Goody Nurse and Goody Proctor?...more
Bonnie
I never actually read this in school; however, I was very familiar with the storyline itself. The Crucible. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said?

This story was based on historical people and real events and was a very authentic depiction of paranoid and hysterical people in a tiny village. Despite knowing this was mostly factual, it was still hard to imagine such an unfortunate situation occurring. This village had laws established but it blew me away how everything was handled. Th...more
Susan
I love this play and yet am doomed to never EVER see a good production of it. Are there good productions of it? Or is it something that is somehow only exciting on the page? Which is especially weird for a play. But that's been my experience with it over the last 12 years or so since I read it the first time and fell in love with it. For whatever reason, I didn't read this one in high school or college (lived under a rock, apparently!), so finally read it when I was auditioning for a production...more
Devon Kelly
Painful memories of having to endure this book in highschool.....
Chami Rosealia
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:

description


description


So Before i bore you with my actual review, here are my reactions to the book through gifs.


Abigail sentencing Elizabeth:

description


When Danforth offered to see Mary Warren's side:

description


Mr Putnam killing of his foes for land:

description


Rebecca Nurse not confessing:

description


John R...more
Januario
The Crucible Review
ISBN 0-14-048138-9
Have you ever felt a feeling that you have felt before? At Massachusetts, Salem at the year of 1692, a mass-hysteria arises and this disaster leads to the death of many innocent people. Indecisive, they cannot tell right from wrong nor the truth from a lie. In The Crucible , people’s death is something that neither their faith nor the truth can stop. People eyes are blind, covered by an illusion where a different world exists. A group of girls dancing nak...more
Maureen
Jul 24, 2010 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maureen by: Tommy Capps
Shelves: play
The first time I saw The Crucible onstage, I left the theater in tears. Although this play is really about the McCarthy hearings and the greater issues surrounding that time, it is set at the time of the Salem witch trials. We can see parallels between the lengths that people will go to in order to disassociate themselves from someone under scrutiny, and the danger of leaping to conclusions based on faulty testimony then and now. Think about the Homeland Security Act, and the way that the Bush a...more
Tamra
Apr 11, 2008 Tamra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Tamra by: my HS curriculum
This was my first Arthur Miller and I loved it! It was a HS curriculum book, so I wasn't hopeful. But it was genius and I loved it and I didn't get it that my classmates weren't so enthusiastic.

It started my love affair with Arthur Miller (eventually derailed by Mr. Peters' Connections), and I will always cherish that.

As for the play. Good read. Fast read, so even if you don't like it, you won't have wasted much time. It's a nice commentary on the times, too, no matter how you feel about Joe.
David Sarkies
Jul 08, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in history and the effects of fundamentalism
Recommended to David by: My American History Lecturer
Shelves: politics
Fear and fundamentalist dogma
14 November 2013

Many people debate which play would be considered to be the greatest play written by an American and to be honest this play comes pretty close. However, I am not a really big fan of American Literature (in the same way that I am not a really big fan of Australian Literature). I think it would be stretching it a bit to refer to American and Australian Literature as being colonial because I have a feeling that that form of literature is limited to Brit...more
Faizah Roslaini
The Crucible mengisahkan tentang perbicaraan amalan ilmu hitam di Salem, Massachusetts, sekitar tahun 1700. Kejadian ini kerap juga dirujuk sebagai,

cautionary tale about the dangers of religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties

Penulisnya, Arthur Miller meniatkan The Crucible sebagai allegori kepada McCarthyism sewaktu gelombang Red Scare yang kedua. Tanpa fakta mahupun bukti yang kukuh, Senator Joseph McCarthy dan ‘konco-kon...more
Nikki
I've always enjoyed this play, but seeing it performed is an entirely different experience. The play comes to life---and I found myself having new reactions, as I viewed the characters and all of their dimensions rather than just their surface levels. Feeling the emotion--the fear, frustration, anger, and regret--of these characters helped me to appreciate Miller's writing and purpose even more than the first time around. Wonderful work of art...and I highly recommend seeing a live showing of it...more
Fabiola Faublas
May 09, 2010 Fabiola Faublas is currently reading it
Overall, I love this book because it's interesting how people in the 1900's was accused of being a witch in Salem,Massachusettes.Many people would be accuse of witches, if they did not go to church or if they did spirtual dances. one character in the novel that was accused of being a with was Tituba. Tituba was acussed of being a witch she drinks blood and associates with the devil. At first Tituba tried to deny worshiping to the devil because, she did not want to be whipped to death. So many p...more
Michael
Jan 20, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miller fans, theater fans, American historians
Recommended to Michael by: Grace Harvey
Shelves: classics, drama
I read in the blurb on goodreads that Miller said this play gives "the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history." This raises two questions: Which chapter is he referring to and what does he mean by "essential nature?"

The play is set during the famous witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692-1693. However, it was written during the 1950s, and it is generally accepted that the author's intention was to criticize the anti-Communist "witch hunts" of t...more
Kali
VOYA Evaluation Code: 5Q; 4P

A) Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts
I am excited to read The Crucible again. I haven't read this text since American Literature in 11th grade. To be honest, this was the only book that I actually read when I was in high school. I remember it was appealing because of its length and content. In addition, I have always loved reading and learning about witchcraft. This probably stems from my love of Halloween and my repetitive costume of a witch during my early years. Sin...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I'm not one to sit down and read a play, but this one really got my attention when we read it in high school English. The characters stuck in my mind. I read the part of Elizabeth in class, and I really immersed myself in her character. So much that when I saw the movie with Joan Allen, I didn't really feel that she captured Elizabeth as well as I liked. John is a character that you want to like, but at the end of the day, you realize he is a coward. He doesn't show the strength of character tha...more
Christopher Rush
Strangely enough, propaganda does not make good literature. Miller makes it clear from the beginning he is not interested in presenting an accurate story - whatever "research" he has done has been filtered through his vituperative Anti-anti-Communism cheesecloth. This farcical presentation of the Puritans comes out quite clearly if one just sees the play, but it is quite clear from reading his introduction and character digressions, especially in Act 1. This play has no meaningful value, other t...more
Mary JL
Feb 05, 2011 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone--espeically if you have any interest in history
Shelves: fiction-classics
It would be hard to say anything about this classic which was not said before. Altough Miller writes in the notes that he changed a few details--merging several judges into one composite to make the play move faster, for example--the SPIRIT of the play is very accurate.

It clearly cpatures the hysteria, legal misconduct and antagonisms of the time. The accusations of witchcraft lead to massive jailings; and 19 executions before the fever died down. It is well written and deserves its classic stat...more
Crystal
I have always wanted to read this book and I am glad that i finally did. THe Salem witch trials have always intrigued me and this book/play gave me an insight into them. I liked how throughout the book the author gives you details about each character and explains why they are they way they are. It is scary to think that a group of children could wreck havoc on a town with only their imagination and acting skills. I can't help but feel sorry for the victims and their families. Again this is a mu...more
Jeff Richards
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, portrays the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s in Salem Massachusetts. Written during the McCarthyism era in which many people were being accused of being a communist, the Salem Witch Trials are very similar in a sense that the main antagonist in the novel, Abigail Williams, gains the social power to declare any person in the community a witch, and that person would be put on trial. I thought that the novel was a thrilling read and would recommend it to...more
Jamie
Dec 04, 2008 Jamie added it
Shelves: g22008
the crucible was kinda a wierd book, i could not understand it hardly at all, until i watched the movie then it helped my scatter thoughts come together, i thought it was crazy that they damned there souls to the devil, proctor admitted to what him and abigal had going on and was punished for his actions... the guilty people lied to save thereselves and to keep there names, however the inoocent was hung by there throat as they prayed aloud. this is a good book if you like sad touching old books....more
Paloma
a história: jovens são acusadas de bruxaria em salém por participar de um ritual na floresta à noite. não se sabe quem finge, quem manda fingir e muitas pessoas são mortas diante de uma justiça influenciável. o demônio aqui é quem julga

a história da história: em salém no século 17 jovens são acusadas de bruxaria. muitas confirmam que voavam e apresentam doenças. instala-se uma histeria no local e milhares de mulheres são queimadas como bruxas. a população não sabia que o clima local e o descuido...more
Wael Mahmoud
An important political play. What i liked most was two characters, First John Proctor who i think deserve another work to study him, the other one is Giles Corey.

The descriptions of events and characters were the weakest point in the play, which i think Miller - under the influence of the political conditions in America when he wrote it - was forced to use it to make his point clear to everyone.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who would you be? 9 88 Aug 29, 2014 05:51AM  
  • Brigadoon (Vocal Score)
  • Inherit the Wind
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • All in the Timing
  • The Archidamian War
  • Our Town
  • The Art of Fiction
  • Equus
  • Long Day's Journey Into Night
  • "Master Harold"...and the boys
  • The Children's Hour
  • The Riverside Shakespeare
  • Angels in America:  A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
  • The Pillowman
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Oleanna
  • Fences (The Century Cycle #6)
8120
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide. Miller was often in the public eye, most famously for refusing to g...more
More about Arthur Miller...
Death of a Salesman All My Sons A View from the Bridge After the Fall Focus

Share This Book

“Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.” 254 likes
“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!” 230 likes
More quotes…