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The Crucible

The Crucible

3.9 50
by Arthur Miller

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ISBN-10: 0822202557

ISBN-13: 9780822202554

Pub. Date: 06/01/1953

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated

Here, especially for high school students, is an analysis and summary of Arthur Miller's famous play. Titles in the Literature Made Easy Series analyze novels and plays found in most school curricula. More than mere plot summaries, these books explain themes, analyze characters, and discuss each author's unique writing style, mastery of language, and command of his


Here, especially for high school students, is an analysis and summary of Arthur Miller's famous play. Titles in the Literature Made Easy Series analyze novels and plays found in most school curricula. More than mere plot summaries, these books explain themes, analyze characters, and discuss each author's unique writing style, mastery of language, and command of his material. Books also feature "Mind Maps," diagrams that summarize a work's most important details as a way to help students focus ideas for exams and term papers.

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Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.20(d)

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Table of Contents

Plot synopsis
about Arthur Miller
Witch-hunts, 1692-1956
who's who in "The Crucible"
themes in "The Crucible"
text commentary
self-test questions
how to write a course work essay
how to write an examination essay
self-test answers.

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The Crucible 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
bekmort More than 1 year ago
For the last four years I have taught "The Crucible" to high school Juniors using a class set of the Penguin Classics version of the play. Needing more copies, I placed an order for some with my school's librarian. Thinking he'd save money, he bought this version. *It is not the same version of the play.* This version of the play reads more like a script (complete with detailed stage directions and set design/layout) and is better suited for performing the play, not reading it in a classroom setting. Differences: * This play is divided into 2 main Acts, not the original 4 * Miller's commentary and character descriptions are omitted (vital sections if you want to link the play to McCarthyism) * The dialogue is different; certain (sometimes key) lines are omitted. Bottom Line: It's an inferior copy of the play, and it is worth the few extra dollars to buy the other version.
SherrieAnne721863 More than 1 year ago
This has been one of my favorite plays for decades - since I was in the seventh grade. Even then I knew how egregious its historical accuracy is - the Proctors were really 60 and 51, Abigail was 11, etc. - it's still a powerful play. I'm auditioning for the show in two weeks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candice_Bragg More than 1 year ago
Set in colonial Salem, Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" takes a tragic event and brings it to life. There's no doubt that the Salem Witch Trials was a terrible spot on history. Hundreds of accused witches were hung or burned at the stake. In "The Crucible" several young girls accuse hundreds of people out of fear. They were caught doing inappropriate things and blamed their innocent neighbors of following the devil. While I found Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" to be dull and hard to follow, "The Crucible" was exciting and breath-taking. The way Arthur Miller is able to paint the setting in the reader's mind is amazing. He really transports you to the time period. The way they spoke is sometimes a little difficult to understand, but it is nonetheless beautifully written. One of the things I found most challenging about "Death of a Salesman" was that it was in play format. It made it hard for me to follow and understand. However, "The Crucible" (which was written in the same format) was, I found, easily comprehensible and very entertaining. Arthur Miller was a magnificent author and playwright, then and now. "The Crucible" was a thrilling play that will remain a classic.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm usually not into classics because I'm not that big of a reader, but I have to say I loved this book. The characters have depth and are very well-developed. When I picked it up, I never would have thought that I'd actually enjoy this book. Its message is clear and Miller had a good way of conveying it. He is very talented and I'd love to read his other plays.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was always a deep admirer of Arthur Miller's work and still am. The Crucible is single-handedly the most overrated play in American history. It was a thinly veiled attempt of a liberalistic and egotistical metaphorical play on The McCarthy Era. Abigail Williams was much too simple as a villain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have heard about the Salem witchcraft trials in history class. Arthur Miller the writer of the play had made me feel like I was living it first hand. In Salem Massachusetts in 1692 a group of girls were said to have been practicing witchcraft. Of one of the girls in the group were Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams is said to be the ringleader of the group. The whole town reacts to the accusations of witchcraft trials and may have had people gotten trialed and killed during this time period. John Proctor is a character that makes me enjoy reading this play. He begins as a bad individual that commits adultery and does not treat his wife respectfully. He then admits he committed adultery against his wife Elizabeth. In the end how ever he changes, and will not admit to something that has not happened and he has not done. He shows empathy for his wife and all the innocent people who were being accused of the witchcraft trials. John Proctor brings Mary Warren before a judge during the trials of Judge Danforth trials. John wants her to tell the judge that the girls are lying and are afraid to confess in front of the towns people of Salem. It is this time in which he is told that his wife is pregnant and her life will be spared. Proctor is now put on the spot. Judge Danforth asks his wife Elizabeth, and asks if her husband was unfaithful to her. Elizabeth who is usually honest lies to protect her husband. Proctor is arrested. Judge Hale and Danforth try to get Proctor to confess but he refuses to accuse anyone else of being a witch and worshiping the devil. The Crucible has interesting characters. Reverend Hale is an intelligent man who really believes that witch hunting is ridiculous because he was called in as an expert. He is proud to be looked up to in the society. In the beginning of the trials he tries to get people to admit and confess for practicing witchcraft and worshiping the devil, but in the end he makes a turn around and realizes that the town people are telling the truth and Abigail is not. Reverend Hale then tries to turn the proceedings but he cannot. The trial becomes out of control and he then realizes that he is not as powerful as he thought he was against Danforth and the religious climate of the time. One theme in the play is hysteria. Arthur Miller shows how this can tear people and the townspeople apart. Another theme is people¿s reputation. Every one is concerned about their reputation and is afraid that if their friends commit sin that they would be guilty by association. Even though the play took place over 300 years ago the same thing could happen again today many people believed exaggerated stories and leaders can put their own spin on things to make the public think their endangered when their really are not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never traveled to Salem, Massachusetts, but the author, Arthur Miller lets the readers experience how life was like back in the 1600¿s. In that era, witchcraft was very popular among the people of the town. People who were accused of practicing witchcraft were hung and/or publicly humiliated. One of the reasons I enjoyed reading this book is largely because of Abigail. The entire play circles around this complex teenager, who manipulates others to benefit herself. The things that Abigail does truly exemplifies that a person will go to great measures to get what they want. The suspense of thinking who Abigail would accuse next, keeps the readers interested and wanting to turn the pages. ¿The Crucible¿ can be read in many ways. The play literally is about Salem witch trials, but symbolically is about the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Thus, ¿The Crucible¿ is an allegory. Abigail and her group of friends decided to dance in the woods one night, but unexpectedly were caught by Reverend Parris. This is when all the accusations of witchcraft began. The major theme of the play is that jealousy often in time motivates people to do horrible things. Because of one girl¿s jealousy, it lead to a chain of accusations, which ultimately resulted in innocent deaths. In today¿s time where witchcraft is not quite as popular as it was back in the 1600¿s, ¿The Crucible¿ lets the readers experience things that we have not, and most likely will not experience. So if you want to learn more about the Salem witch trials and/or find out what happens with Abigail and her never ending string of accusations, then pick up a copy today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Imagine, Salem Massachusetts, in the time of the first settlers, not many settlements, and strict puritan ways. That is where Arthur Miller¿s The Crucible will take you. Imagine hysteria among a whole civilization, blaming everyone, but for what you ask? Well WITCHCRAFT, Abigail Williams the main culprit of the accusations, starts accusing this person and that person, at first just to get the blame off of her. That¿s not all she realized this could work in her advantage into getting the man she loves, John Proctor. The blaming was getting so bad, and the ironic thing was if you confessed and said you were a witch, you would get off easy, as long as you named someone else who is a witch, but if you said you¿re not a witch well you would be whipped and hung to the death. You could have been the most innocent person in the town, such as goody goody, if you were accused, and did not say you were a witch you life was pretty much over. The fact that the story is written as a play makes it entertaining and enjoyable for every reader, just for the fact its fun to interact and become a character in a story. The language in this play is very easy to follow, there no sophisticated Shakespeare type language, very straightforward which is a plus to keep the a reader interested. All in all this play is highly recommended by me and I suggest you go pick up a copy now, and read it, you will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The play The Crucible has a lot to offer. It is a mix of drama, lies, and tragedy. The author has a way of creating cliff hangers at the end of each act. This play will always keep you guessing. I loved the character Abigail. She was so evil and cunning. She was the type of character a person loves to hate. A character that was extremely admirable was John Proctor. He kept everyone guessing if he was the nice guy in the novel or the evil villain. Nobody knew until the end of the play what type of person he played. The play also had an underlying theme. After the reader discovered this, it made them appreciate the play much more in depth. They saw that the play was not just about people being accused of witches but much more. This play does not only challenge you with its language but the message the author is trying to get across. In the play the girls blame others for being a witch to lift the blame off of their shoulders. This action makes you think if lying is ever a must. I believe lying is never an excuse. The girls lying cause innocent people to be sent to jail. This is never ok. This is not the only part in the play that makes you think and reflect on what occurs during the play. In my opinion this play changes the reader¿s life. It does not only teach the reader life lessons but helps the reader have a better understanding of what went on during the witch trials era. The play shows the mayhem that happens during this era. If you have to choose one play to read this year, choose this play. You will not be sorry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Crucible by Arthur Miller Review by Erin Although the seventeenth century Salem Witch Trials were before my time, novelist Arthur Miller made me feel as though I was in Salem, Massachusetts for every little bit of it. The Crucible shows how this quiet town was turned upside-down when rumors of witchcraft began to spread like the plague. A huge conflict arises when a bunch of young girls in town accuse each other and a variety of others of practicing witchcraft. This series of accusations inflates to the point where it is basically a blame-game based on revenge. This made it hard for me to put the book down because I kept wondering Who will be accused next? What will become of those that were accused? The inquisitive feeling I had gave me a reason to keep coming back and reading on in the book. The whole accusation situation fascinated me because I could relate it to my high school life in so many ways. In the play, if just one person dropped a name in the same sentence as the word ¿witchcraft¿, the name was soiled as a result. I could relate to this because often times in high school rumors are spread with no basis, as were these witchcraft accusations. Such rumors could damage a person¿s reputation with ease, even though it may be incorrect, just as the unsubstantiated accusations ruined so many people¿s reputations. While reading The Crucible and analyzing how its an allegory to the ¿red scare¿ and McCarthyism, I came to realize something that I disliked about the play. Comparing witchcraft in 1692 to communism in the 1950¿s isn¿t that accurate of a comparison. Communism was a real and justifiable fear for people to hold in the 1950¿s in America. Witchcraft was a baseless superstition that¿s authenticity was disputed by some, even in the 1690¿s. Although the ¿red scare¿ incident gave Arthur Miller a great point of comparison to use while writing this play, it is not a fully accurate comparison to make. This inconsistency annoyed me throughout the course of reading the book. Sure some people may have believed that witches were real and that people were devil-worshippers. Still, no matter how you look at it, an invented fear cannot begin to compare to a legitimate one. Betty is the character I liked the least because she is the reason the accusations began. She got caught dancing in the woods and pointed her finger at witchcraft so she wouldn¿t get in trouble. Betty was too immature to take responsibility for her actions and accept the consequences. Instead, the whole town had to suffer when the accusations spread like wildfire. I also disliked Thomas Putnam because of the motives he had for his actions. Thomas convinced some of the girls to accuse certain people of worshipping the devil. He targeted people with plentiful land because he knew they would be sent to prison or death if convicted. This would allow him to obtain their land. He ruined the lives of innocent people with his greed and selfishness. Although I found an interest in certain aspects of this book, which coerced me into finishing it, I didn¿t like the novel overall. I found some parts of it to be inaccurate and I couldn¿t find a way to relate to the characters because I disliked them so much. Still, if you enjoy factual inconsistencies and crude characters, this may just be a book you want to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
History has been very interesting throughout all these years especially the Salem witch trial which this book is based on. The girls in Salem Massachusetts start to accuse other people just to save their selfish lives. These assumptions eventually lead to a court case where all the death¿s being. Abigail Williams is one of the main characters. She made you want to keep reading the play to find out what stunt she¿s going to pull next. She is Reverend Paris¿s niece and also the corporate of the play. Abigail put nineteen innocent people to be hanged. Abigail use to be a servant for John and Elizabeth Proctor, until Elizabeth found out that John and Abigail had an affair. When John tells Abigail they cannot see each other anymore this results to complete jealousy. Abigail then accuses Elizabeth of being a witch. This makes the reader stands on their toes to find out what happens to Elizabeth. The real turning point of this play is when Marry Warren (the new servant of the Proctors) told judge Danforth that John Proctor is a witch. It just made the play more suspenseful especially when John put up a fight with Danforth about keeping his name. His name was one of the things he wanted to keep to himself before he was executed. This was really important to me because I respected that and understood of what he was going threw at that time. Reverend Hale came to Salem because he is knows a lot about witchcraft and the town needed help with the trial. When it came to him doing the ¿devils work¿ that made the play more socking because it¿s the complete opposite of what he¿s suppose to do. The Crucible did have violence, betrayal, lying, and bad judgment but overall the play was good. The end of the play could have been different but in order to find that out for yourself your going to have to ready it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the New England town of Salem, Massachusetts, there are a lot of accusations of witch craft going on. Being accused of being a witch can cost you your life. The Crucible is a play based on the Salem Witch Trials. I would give this play three out of five stars because at some points the play could have caught my attention more if there was more detail about it. Some things that I didn¿t like was that people in Salem believed other people where witches the second someone else would accuse them. I also didn¿t like Abigail Williams. I thought she was a lying devious character throughout the entire play. What I did like was that there were a lot of court parts in this book I love reading about court cases they catch my interest and in this book there was a lot of court time. Abigail Williams is Reverend Parris¿s niece. Abigail was one night caught in the woods of Salem dancing around naked and doing voodoo with other girls from the town and a Barbados women named Tituba. Tituba was a black slave for Reverend Parris. She was the one in the forest making the ¿Love Spell¿ for the girls and saying all the words to help their fun and laughter. Later Abigail gets caught from her actions in the forest and starts to blame innocent women of the town, of being witches to save herself from being accused. Everyone is literally down each others throats about blaming someone else of being a witch to try and save themselves. A few characters in the play get killed or hanged for no reason. One of the characters even got crushed by weights for being accused and not lying about being a witch. Because in the with trials when you are being accused you have two choices. One being admit you are a witch and live or two dyeing that you are a witch and therefore loosing your life. To make the play a little more interesting to me would probably have to have been¿ more detail to some of the events that occurred. For example they should explain in more detail about the affair John Procter had with Abigail. John Procter was the man Abigail was slaving for along with his wife Elizabeth Procter. Being that Abigail felt she loved John after the affair she had with him, she accused Elizabeth of being a witch. To therefore see if maybe she could get Elizabeth out of the way and have John all to herself. Another thing that would of made the play more interesting would have been if after all these people getting accused of witch craft, and a lot of people being killed because of it¿ the judge should catch on that maybe some people can be lying and take that into more consideration then just going by what each person being accused of witch craft says. Because don¿t you think you would want to save your own life if you could? All in all, I did like this play I would diffidently recommend this play to anyone who likes drama, mystery and mostly witchcraft.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually don't read plays, but I was given no choice but to read 'The Crucible' for a school assignment.It starts out pretty slow but, after a few pages I started to get into it. And as soon as I knew it, I loved it!!! If you love the book or decicide not to read it you can just watch the movie, as i did , since in not a big read and got lost when we read in clss with the other students reading ....u should really read it though cause its a really mind boggler and exciting book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually don't read plays, but I was given no choice but to read 'The Crucible' for a school assignment.It starts out pretty slow but, after a few pages I started to get into it. And as soon as I knew it, I loved it!!! If you love the book or decicide not to read it you can just watch the movie!!!!u should really read it though!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I liked most about this book was that it portrayed a man, who even knew that death would fall upon him if he didn't lie, stood up for what he believed in, and did not deny the truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first, I hated this book because I was forced to read it. I like to read, but not if I'm forced to. I really ended up loving it, and to read it and then take a trip to Salem is amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my communications class, and was totally surprised at how true to life the plot runs. Its really thought provoking how similar to our lives today this story can be. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to look at human society as it really is.