The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The Crucible is a quick read and a well-written play. Arthur Miller accomplished what he set out to do–showing readers (or the audience) the psychological consequences of mass hysteria...
-Between The Covers


A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community
The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.

First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can.

"A drama of emotional power and impact" —New York Post

About Arthur Miller

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Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. More recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). His latest book is On Politics and the Art of Acting. Miller was granted with the 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.Christopher Bigsby is professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. He edited the Penguin Classics editions of Miller's The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, and All My Sons.
Published March 25, 2003 by Penguin Classics. 178 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Crucible
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by ellathebookworm on Jan 12 2014

The Crucible captivated and horrified me, and I never knew a play could be so engulfing or lasting. I would recommend it to anyone, for it will last way beyond the last page, in fact I have a feeling that I will remember it for the rest of my life.

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Above average
Reviewed by CrazyWriter on Apr 30 2014

Although I cannot say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Crucible for its pessimistic plot, I did enjoy Miller’s style of portraying a good character and bad character. I admire Miller for his bravery on approaching a topic of the trials with an opinion that states it as an evil and tries to proof it through fiction.

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Teen Ink

Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Apr 30 2014

The Crucible can be considered to be a classic because it exemplifies a work that has transcended generation gaps due to the fact that its underlying concept can be applied to situations no matter the time period.

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Teen Ink

Reviewed by OrangeClementine on Apr 30 2014

All in all, "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller is an intense contemplation on morality and society. One of Miller’s most produced plays, "The Crucible" is a text that will leave a lasting impact on its viewers and readers.

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Teen Ink

on Apr 17 2014

...jump started generations of thought provoking, brutally honest productions to come. History repeats itself, possibly the most common theme of all...

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Reviewed by Tonia Jordan on Sep 22 2009

You might expect The Crucible to be yet another classic work you're "supposed" to read, but if you tend to stay away from classics, you owe it to yourself to pick up this one. This is one you will enjoy.

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Between The Covers

Reviewed by Heather on Mar 20 2012

The Crucible is a quick read and a well-written play. Arthur Miller accomplished what he set out to do–showing readers (or the audience) the psychological consequences of mass hysteria...

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Bianca Pellet

Reviewed by Bianca Pellet on Jun 10 2009

The play's complexity is perhaps the only offputting element, but this is something which should be relished by those who enjoy a challenge, and the play has clearly not lost appeal with the general public because of it.

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