• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did Arthur Miller Call His Play 'The Crucible'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Did Arthur Miller Call His Play 'The Crucible'? This modern play was written in the 1950's by the author Arthur Miller. It is set in Salem, Massachusetts in North America. The story is about a town overcome by superstition of witches. A Crucible is also a piece of equipment used in science. This piece of apparatus is used to separate the metal purities from the impurities. Salem is like a crucible in science because in the play, it separates the pure characters from the impure characters. Miller uses the name Crucible as a metaphor. Miller wrote this play because of what was going on in his time. He linked his emotions to the Salem Witch Trials. In his time America was in war with Russia and was frightened of each other's nuclear capabilities. America was a capitalist country and Russia was a Communist country along with China. America was frightened of communism. Senator Joseph McCarthy was appointed as chairman of the House of Un-American Activities Committee to try and prevent communism spreading in America. He began to accuse many people of having left wing views along with many people accusing others. Miller was a liberal and was accused of being a communist because of his left wing views. He was furious at this and was reminded of the Salem Witch Trials 1692. He decided to write 'The Crucible' to convey the stupidity of the anti-communist hysteria. Miller wanted us to think about the stupid accusations during The Witch Trials and think that innocent people died for nothing but just for revenge or jealousy. The moral of the story is to not prejudge people or support something because of a majority of people already supporting it. ...read more.

Middle

I think this is very ironic because how could he call her a child after sleeping with her. Another character that is shown to be impure at the beginning is Giles Corey. He is shown to be impure at the beginning by saying 'He cannot be crossed, John Proctor I have only lasted four pound damages'. This shows him being a tell-teller and he enjoys prosecuting people. Near the end they both prove themselves to be pure. Proctor proves himself to be pure by admitting the adultery by saying 'I have known her'. This shows John Proctor being pure, but also showing that he is desperate and made a big sacrifice by admitting the greatest sin to save his wife and friends. This was a jump in tension and the effect it has on the reader is big because it is a big part of the story and this separates the pure from the impure overall. Giles is shown to be pure at the end by dying a hero's death. We know this because when Elizabeth (Goody Proctor) tells John about what happened she says 'They say give them but two words. 'More weight' he says'. This shows him being pure by not saying anything but 'More weight' when rocks are crushing him. This shows that he would do anything to save his friends and this also shows him as a noble character. I felt admiration for the characters and I felt sorry for them dying for no reason and died as hero. At the end of the of the play it made me feel this way, firstly when Elizabeth told Proctor about Giles' death and right at the end when Proctor gets hanged. ...read more.

Conclusion

Characters said things like 'we come not for your life' because Miller doesn't want to make the play straight forward or simple e.g. if he just wrote ' we are not here to kill you' then it wouldn't have the effect on the reader as much as the first sentence had because the first one is more formal and old fashioned. This shows that that Miller wanted the play not to be as straightforward and predictable, he wanted to add mystery to it. Miller makes characters refer to the bible because this helps the reader to understand the setting and the time it was written in: people were religious and believed in God and strict Christians forbided dancing! All the characters had Christian names. This might have been because he was trying to send the message out to the reader so they know the characters are very religious and their parents were as well. Miller's use of language conveys the ideas he is trying to by using words that relate to the idea e.g. if the idea is religion he uses words like 'God or if it is death he uses words like 'hell' and 'damn'. I think the play did end as I expected because I knew Proctor was going to die. I could tell because of the type of character he is (aggressive, independent etc.) and because he is full of pride he doesn't want to give away his reputation that easily. This links to the why Miller called his play 'The Crucible' because all the pure people died and only a few survived and this left Salem (crucible in science) full of impurities. - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. How does Miller handle the theme of Justice in 'The Crucible' and what message ...

    She is full of ideas and is very scheming. The Justice system is ready to accuse people of witchcraft and Abby found it easy to set Elizabeth up because they would punish people before they looked into the evidence. Abby can manipulate a lot of people she manipulates her friends as she is the leader to the group.

  2. How and why does Arthur Miller encourage audience sympathy for John Proctor

    This, gives us further sympathy for John, as he has thrown away his good name, and yet, it got him nowhere. Elizabeth's denial, however, shows that despite Proctors affair, Proctor and Elizabeth are still deeply in love as they are both willing to sacrifice themselves for each other.

  1. Tragedy and Realism in 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller

    A play that takes place over three hours should take three hours to view. Miller's piece does not do this as it takes place over three and a half months. Despite this; in relation to tragedy, the piece works well with the unity of time, action and place.

  2. The Crucible - summary.

    Mary Warren claims that Goody Osburn sent her spirit out in court to choke them, and often mumbles whenever others turn her away when she begs. Proctor demands proof that Goody Osburn is a witch, and forbids Mary Warren to go to court.

  1. How Does Arthur Miller Present The Characters of Abigail and Elizabeth and Shape Our ...

    And later on in the scene when Abigail claims to see Mary Warren's spirit in the form of a bird in the ceiling, instantly Mercy Lewis shouts 'It's on the beam!' Susanna Walcott follows again by saying 'Her claws, she's stretching her claws!'

  2. How Does Miller convey his Message through 'The Crucible'?

    Anything that fell under these categories was heavily frowned upon, and thoroughly discouraged. This suspicion of the unknown fermented, and became almost mystical - which in turn lead to an association with witchcraft, and all kinds of evil. Association with the devil was easy to argue - it was wrong - and thus harsh punishments followed.

  1. The Crucible was written in 1952 by Arthur Miller

    In spite of the Puritans having left England to avoid religious persecution, the society they set up in America was based on religious intolerance. This equates to the intolerance of alternative political viewpoints such as communism in the 1950s. When the play was first produced America was submerged in paranoia

  2. John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

    that send him into a spiraling quest to say the truth; He is fueled by guilt to preserve the innocence of himself and others, even if it means he himself must admit his own subterfuge. Throughout John?s journey through difficult decisions, he has an internal conflict with himself regarding the affair.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work