The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Use of Language

Authors Avatar

The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

Use of Language

Arthur Miller's use of language in this play ensures naturalistic acting on stage throughout the play, and that all the actions and events flow smoothly from scene to scene.  In fact it could be said that it is even more important given that the play is based on a true story.  He uses a writing style that makes for a very absorbing play which is very believable and realistic.

His central subject matter was the hysteria and the witchhunts of the 'puritan christians' in the late 17th century in the New England region of what is now the United States of America, specifically Massachusetts.  For the jewish Arthur Miller this may have been awkward in itself, although he tackles the subject superbly, for it was through the deft use of authentic 17th century New England english that he developed a play that although set almost three centuries before it was written, and was ostensibly about the mass hysteria of the witchhunts, was in reality a thinly veiled portrayal of his contemporaries in 1950s America, and the mass hysteria generated by McCarthyism, and the white house committees' ridiculous charades.

Join now!

Miller's style in this play is very simple, although at times he uses somewhat poetic dialogue   (reflecting the idiom of the era in which it is set), such as John Proctor's prosaic verbal impugning of Danforth during the trial in which he delivers an acerbic  and ireful speech in court: "For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your blackened hearts that this be fraud",  he uses simple sentences and words which are easy to understand.  For example he brings out the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay