Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Crucible” as Want to Read:
The Crucible
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crucible

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  294,296 ratings  ·  6,708 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, Penguin Classics (US/CAN), 143 pages
Published March 25th 2003 by Penguin Books (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
Vilhelm Schmidt Very little is known about the actual events being depicted. The puritanical zeitgeist forbade most forms of story telling and record keeping at the…moreVery little is known about the actual events being depicted. The puritanical zeitgeist forbade most forms of story telling and record keeping at the time.

This is, however, somewhat negligible because the play isn’t really commenting on the Salem Witch Trials so much as McCarthyism and the communist “witch hunts” of the late 40’s and early 50’s. The Salem backdrop is just a metaphor. The basic outline of events is historically accurate, but all of the dialog is fictional and aimed very specifically at senator Joseph MaCarthy. At its core, the story is about the sacrosanct necessity of due process and credible evidence—two Things that were sorely lacking from American politics at the time. Still are as far as I’m concerned. (less)
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
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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-45
3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  294,296 ratings  ·  6,708 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Deborah Markus
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
JOHN PROCTOR: What... what are we doing here? Where are we?

ELIZABETH PROCTOR: We're in a review, John.


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
Amalia Gavea
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece in the history of 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
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life.”

"The Crucible" is many things. A piece of great American theatre, a gift to actors, and a wonderful read! One thing it is not is a piece of history, so be warned. Too many people read this as a historical text, despite Arthur Miller's explicit instructions in the play's notes to not do so, and thus they miss the forest for the trees. This is not an examination of the Salem Witch Trials, but rather a fictional rendering of a histor
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
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
Nandakishore Varma
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
• Lindsey Dahling •
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Johann (jobis89)
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone...”

Based on historical people and real events, The Crucible is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria.

The Crucible provides such an interesting insight into the mass hysteria and paranoia brewing in Salem, Massachusetts in the seventeenth century. Although, perhaps watching a production of this play would be more enthralling than reading it. I was tad bored at times and it took me far longer than it should to
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.
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
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 ...more
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, best-of-2014
" - 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
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll never stop thinking about this... it was incredible
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, play
"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.
Jul 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics_plays
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. ;)
David Schaafsma
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“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!”—Proctor

One of the major plays in the canon of American theatre, which is probably why the Goodreads average is so low for it: If you are forced to read it in school, or maybe it’s the way it is taught, or that you have to take tests about it? But having t
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.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it

En Todos eran mis hijos me quejaba un poquito de cierto esquematismo en la construcción de los personajes, de la falta de matices. Aquí todo ello es mucho más llamativo, pero es que aquí, realmente, no hace falta, es más, es lo apropiado.

El título original de la obra es “El crisol”, lo que nos indica desde el principio que el texto no es tanto una obra de personajes, una crítica de actitudes y comportamientos, que también, sino una forma de hacer entendible como un despropósito del calibre de l
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
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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.
Josh Caporale
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Julia Sapphire
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
So creepy and chilling. So much more readable than I anticipated. I love how you just can't get out of the trap of accusation and hysteria. I also loved the evolution of John and Abigail. I learned a lot about the Salem Witch Trials, which was so cool! I didn't realize how steeped in fact this play is!
Paul Sánchez Keighley
Brilliant and terrifying. This is one of those books everyone should read to better understand the world we live in.

The Crucible is a stage play about the Salem witch trials, when more than 200 people were maliciously accused of witchcraft, resulting in 14 hanged, and Arthur Miller does a terrific job of taking this complex historical chapter and turning it into a powerful human drama built around tragic heroes and moral dilemmas.

Miller wrote the play in the fifties and it was intended as a meta
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, clásicos
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.
Emir Ibañez
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
☽•☾ Emilia-The-Witch-Lover ☽•☾
My favourite play of all time.
Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Oct 01, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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?
Chaunceton Bird
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This perfectly portrays humanity's gullibility, piousness, and knack for hysteria, while at the same time demonstrating the strength of those who would rather die than provide a false confession.

I am now going to buy everything Arthur Miller ever wrote.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It never gets old though the tragedy does especially when history seems doomed to keep repeating itself.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
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!
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.
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 ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Cover Image 2 18 Aug 28, 2019 02:29PM  
Classics for Begi...: April 2019: The Crucible 11 28 May 09, 2019 05:21AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lord of the Flies
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Inherit the Wind
  • Three Plays: Desire Under the Elms / Strange Interlude / Mourning Becomes Electra
  • The Zoo Story and Other Plays
  • Speak
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
  • Bash
  • Master Harold...and the boys
  • A Streetcar Named Desire and Other Plays
  • The Clean House
  • Our Town
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)
  • All in the Timing
  • Assassins
  • The Piano Lesson
See similar books…
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
“Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.” 471 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!” 394 likes
More quotes…