Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller
“ The Crucible” is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in the
1950s. The play was originally produced in 1953 at a time where
McCarthyism was at its peak. This was a time of American paranoia when
Americans believed that the Russians were planning start a war with
them. The Americans accused members of the society of been a communist
spy for the most trivial reasons. It was a situation of hysteria. This
was very similar to the situation in Salem two hundred years earlier.
The people of Salem would believe anyone to be a witch even if they
had very little or no evidence. Salem was governed by theocracy this
meant the church ran the local government, therefore they had orthodox
religious beliefs. Arthur Miller compares these two situations to show
that we all should learn from past mistakes. The past events in Salem
contributed to the situation in 1950s America, this shows Causation.
The title reflects the play because a crucible is a container used to
expose its contents to very high temperatures, this can cause
impurities to rise to the surface, it’s metaphoric meaning is a place
of severe test or trial. In the play eighteenth century Salem becomes
a Crucible, Judge Danforth creates a situation in which he is trying
to force the supposed witches to the surface and purify Salem. Miller
uses dramatic techniques to maintain the audiences’ interest the
message that Miller conveys is to learn from your mistakes and not to
jump to conclusions.
Abigail changes the way she acts when interrogated by Hale. Abigail
has previously been perceived as a dynamic and powerful individual
however when Rev. Hale questions her she comes across as very
desperate and paranoid. This is shown when Abigail says, “I am a good
girl, a proper girl”. She attempts to make herself out to be a model
Puritan, Parris and Hale are manipulated but the audience knows that
Abigail is no telling the truth, this is dramatic irony. The
playwright Arthur Miller presents Abigail to be extremely deceptive
and two-faced, as he wants the audience to dislike her. This is shown
when Abigail notices an opportunity to blame Tituba for the
unchristian and unlawful activities that she has committed. For
instance Abigail blames Tituba for making her laugh in the middle of
prayer and for waking her in the night and Abi finds herself naked.
Miller does this to give an insight of the sin Tituba is not given the
chance to object or justify Abigail’s accusations. An example of this
is “Mister Reverend, I never.” And Hale interrupts her by saying
“Tituba I want you to wake this child.” Reverend Hale is not
interested in Tituba’s defence but her satanic influence. This shows
that Hale does not pity Tituba he hears that which he wishes to hear.
This reveals that the citizens of Salem will...