The Crucible

The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 18/07/2005

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A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community A Penguin Classic

"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 in an introduction to The Crucible, 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 the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing: "Political opposition...is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
ISBN:
9780142437339
9780142437339
Category:
Plays
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
18-07-2005
Language:
English
Publisher:
Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
176
Dimensions (mm):
193x127x13mm
Weight:
0.14kg
Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller was one of America's leading dramatist.

His plays include Death of a Salesman (1940), The Crucible (1953) and A View From the Bridge (1955).

He is also the author of a novel, Focus (1945), and several non-fiction works.

Miller adapted the screenplay for The Misfits from his own short story.

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