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The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  191,897 ratings  ·  3,985 reviews
Based on historical people and real events, Arthur Miller's play uses the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence unleashed by the rumors of witchcraft as a powerful parable about McCarthyism.
Introduction by Christopher Bigsby
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Perfection Learning (first published 1953)
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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)
Christine Obviously, both of them succumbed to lust. Abigail is painted as the worse of the two because she would have liked to keep the affair going. John…moreObviously, both of them succumbed to lust. Abigail is painted as the worse of the two because she would have liked to keep the affair going. John Proctor performed the horrific act of cheating on his wife, unheard of in Puritan society. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 o ...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 (looking to the future)
**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
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:

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


Abigail sentencing Elizabeth:

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When Danforth offered to see Mary Warren's side:

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Mr Putnam killing of his foes for land:

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Rebecca Nurse not confessing:

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John R
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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
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
Addison Walker
I personally did not enjoy this book because although I find the Salem Witch Trials fascinating, I did not enjoy the characters or the plot of the book. I think I partially did not like it either because it was hard for me to understand the confines of Puritan life. As hard as I tried to put myself into the positions of the characters, their choices always seemed to frustrate me. On the other hand, I did find the book somewhat interesting because it dealt with the hysteria of the Witch Trials wh ...more
Devon Kelly
Painful memories of having to endure this book in highschool.....
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joey
I wish Arthur Miller had put his ideas of witchcraft into different style, or into a play that does not appear enigmatic- the way I find it. The structures of the sentences as well as the plots and settings are beyond me. It takes me time to bend my mind to or assimilate it. Perhaps I could not concentrate on reading it at that time. (laughs) Otherwise, I would have liked it as many as three stars .

If you anatomize its literary value, you would end up realizing how brilliant Arthur Miller was.
...more
Lydia Kirk
I'll be honest. I only read this for school. It was pretty boring. So were the characters. The movie was a little better.
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
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
فاطمة الابراهيم
مزواج وذات ميولٍ سياسية وعلاقات عاطفية لا تنتهي ، ولولا أجله لتزوج من فتاة تصغره بأكثر من ثلاثين سنه إلا أن الذبحة القلبية التي أتته في العاشر من شباط أنهت تلك العلاقة ، لكن هذا لم ينتقص من قدره ككاتب مسرحي أخرج مايقارب ستةً وعشرون مسرحية إحداها ساحرات سالم التى ماهى إلا قصة حقيقية حدثت في أواخر القرن السابع عشر !

لم يكن آثر ميللر شغوفاً على القراءة كما هى عادة معظم الكتُّاب في بداية مسيرتهم الأدبية ، وبدلاً عن ذلك كان لاعباً رياضياً ، ولولا المطر الذي منعه من اللعب لما كان كاتباً مشهوراً ، فقد
...more
❀УᗩᔕᗰᎥИƎ❀
The Crucibles Abridged:

Girl gets jealous of a mans wife so, in retaliation, she sends tons of innocents into their inevitable death.

What I learned:

Don't be jealous or else half of your town will die a terrible death.
Oh, and that reverend is a fancy word for clergy.
...more
Sammy Tiranno
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Addy
I read this for my English class last year (2014). For some reason I didn't add it even though I remember looking it up on Goodreads at one point. The Salem Witch Trials have always interested me. This play was original and had a wonderful mysterious feel to it. I think I would have given it a high rating if I didn't have to annotate an Act a night, which took forever. School always ruins books for me, except for when I read Of Mice and Men. This was the case in this instance.
Cemre
Gerçekten her döneme dair bir şeyler taşıyan bir eser desem yanılmış olmam sanırım.

Miller bir halkın din kullanılarak nasıl kandırılabileceğini, esas kötülerin kendi uydurma hikayeleriyle, kendilerini acındırmalarıyla nasıl diğerlerini kandıracağını, her şeye tek bir pencereden bakanların tek bir doğrusu ve yanlışı olanların bu kimselerin kandırmacalarıyla nasıl aldandıklarını çok çarpıcı bir şekilde gözler önüne seriyor. Gerçekten kandırılmaya açık, muhakeme yeteneğinden yoksun kimselere duyma
...more
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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

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“Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.” 292 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!” 269 likes
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