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Other titles in the Viking Critical Library series:

The Crucible: Revised Edition (Viking Critical Library)

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The Crucible: Revised Edition (Viking Critical Library) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote in an introduction to The Crucible, his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing "Political opposition...is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence."

The Viking Critical Library edition of Arthur Miller's dramatic recreation of the Salem witch trials contains the complete text of The Crucible as well as extensive critical and contextual material about the play and the playwright, including:

  • Selections from Miller's writings on his most frequently performed play
  • Essays on the historical background of The Crucible, including personal narratives by participants in the trials and records of witchcraft in Salem from the original documents
  • Reviews of The Crucible, in production by Brooks Atkinson, Walter Kerr, Eric Bentley, and others
  • Excerpts from Jean-Paul Sartre's Les Sorcières de Salem, a "spin-off" of Miller's play, and three analogous works by Twain, Shaw, and Budd Schulberg
  • Critical essays on the play, on Miller, and on the play in the context of Miller's oeuvre
  • An introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers prepared by Malcolm Cowley, and a bibliography

Synopsis:

Based on historical people and real events, Miller's classic play about the witch hunts and trials in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror which Miller uses to reflect the anti-Communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the U.S.

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

The Crucible Introduction

Chronology

I. THE CRUCIBLE: THE TEXT

A Note on the Text

II. THE CRUCIBLE: CRITICISM AND ANALOGUES

Miller on The Crucible

Many Writers: Few Plays

Introduction to Collected Plays

Brewed in The Crucible

[More on Danforth]

After the Fall (excerpt)

III. THE CRUCIBLE IN PRODUCTION: COMMENTS AND REVIEWS

Henry Hewes, Arthur Miller and How He Went to the Devil

Walter Kerr, The Crucible

Brooks Atkinson, At the Theatre

Brooks Atkinson, Arthur Miller's The Crucible in a New Edition

New York Post, Witchcraft and Stagecraft

Joseph T. Shipley, Arthur Miller's New Melodrama Is Not What It Seems to Be

Eric Bentley, The Innocence of Arthur Miller

Robert Warshow, The Liberal Conscience in The Crucible

Harold Hobson, Fair Play

Herbert Blau, Counterforce I: The Social Drama

Marcel Aymeé, I Want to Be Hanged Like a Witch

Jean SElz, Raymond Rouleau Among the Witches

THE CRUCIBLE IN RETROSPECT: ESSAYS ON THE PLAY

David Levin, Salem Witchcraft in Recent Fiction and Drama

Penelope Curtis, The Crucible

Stephen Fender, Precision and Pseudo Precision in The Crucible

THE CRUCIBLE IN RETROSPECT: ESSAYS ON THE PLAYWRIGHT

William Wiegand, Arthur Miller and the Man Who Knows

Richard H. Rovere, Arthur Miller's Conscience

Albert Hunt, Realism and Intelligence

Gerald Weales, Arthur Miller: Man and His Image

Lee Baxandall, Arthur Miller: Still the Innocent

CONTEXTS OF THE CRUCIBLE: HISTORICAL

A Note on Witchcraft

Records of Salem Witchcraft

Deodat Lawson, A Brief and True Narrative

Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World

John Hale, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft

CONTEXTS OF THE CRUCIBLE: CONTEMPORARY

Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun

Henry Steele Commager, Who Is Loyal to America?

Joseph R. McCarthy, Communists in the State Department

Whittaker Chambers, Witness

The Reporter, The Road to Damascus

THE CRUCIBLE: SPIN-OFFS

Bernard Stambler, The Crucible

Jean-Paul Sartre, On Les Sorcières de Salem; In Salem Prison

THE CRUCIBLE: ANALOGUES

Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan

Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer

Budd Schulberg, Waterfront

Topics for Discussion and Papers

Bibliography

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140247725
Other:
Miller, Arthur
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Miller, Arthur
Author:
Weales, Gerald
Location:
New York, N.Y. :
Subject:
History
Subject:
American
Subject:
American drama (dramatic works by one author)
Subject:
Witchcraft
Subject:
Salem (Mass.) History Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 Drama.
Subject:
Salem
Subject:
General Drama
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Salem (Mass.) History.
Subject:
Miller, Arthur
Subject:
Drama-American Anthology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Revised
Series:
Critical Library, Viking
Publication Date:
19960131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
7.69x5.03x.89 in. .78 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » American Anthology
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The Crucible: Revised Edition (Viking Critical Library) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 512 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140247725 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Based on historical people and real events, Miller's classic play about the witch hunts and trials in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror which Miller uses to reflect the anti-Communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the U.S.

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