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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!
Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a play in four acts, deals with the witch-craze in Salem in the 17th century. A minister from Salem discovers a groups of teenage girls dancing naked around a fire in the woods. As the girls are aware of the fact that they will have to face severe punishment for their action, they claim to have been possessed by evil spirits. This causes a...
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by gabriele neuditschko

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio Recording Not As Advertised
This audio version was described on the site as "the complete play on 2 compact discs." This audio version does NOT contain the full text of Miller's play. It has many of the characters' lines cut out completely or speeches shortened to only 1 or 2 lines. I bought this audio for educational purposes, so my students could read along while listening to actors playing the...
Published on Dec 2 2009 by Cynthia M. Hachey


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio Recording Not As Advertised, Dec 2 2009
By 
Cynthia M. Hachey (Kingston, ON, CANADA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Crucible (Audio CD)
This audio version was described on the site as "the complete play on 2 compact discs." This audio version does NOT contain the full text of Miller's play. It has many of the characters' lines cut out completely or speeches shortened to only 1 or 2 lines. I bought this audio for educational purposes, so my students could read along while listening to actors playing the parts. They have found it frustrating as the play skips lines and speeches. They have a hard time following along. Another annoying feature is sound effects (dog barking and thunder) that overwhelm the dialogue so that it is inaudible. Big disappointment!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent example of American Drama, June 2 2004
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The Crucible is Miller's most widely read piece, and perhaps his most important. At the time of its publication, The Crucible served a very important purpose that many readers today don't recognize.
Although it serves as a somewhat accurate (there are somethings left out or modified) representation of some of the key characters in the Salem witch trials, I don't think Miller would have taken the time to write the play had it not been for the status quo of his day. The play was written in the 1950s, during a time of a constant communist scare in America. Out of the communist scare came the House of Un-American Activities Commission. HUAC often interoggated people, and black-listed celebrities based on little or no evidence. One of the key players in the HUAC interoggations was Joseph McCarthy, hence the word "McCarthyism" refers to accusing someone based on insufficient evidence.
Miller wrote The Crucible as a response to what he though was an injustice in the 1950s. Unfortunatly, the theatre production of The Crucible became a financial flop, but The Crucible remains as a landmark of American Drama. Most American Art serves as a symbol to make a statement. The Crucible is a fine example of this tradition.
I'm not going to give you a summary of the story, because I think other reviewers have devled into that enough. The reason I gave the play four stars is because one flaw that Aurthur Miller has in this play, indeed in many of his plays, is the lack of character development. Despite the fact that it is a riviting story, most of the characters are weightless and I don't ever tend to care about them all that much.
The Crucible is still a fine piece of literature, however, both as for its historical significance and for its cultural message.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Crucible, May 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The Crucible- A play, I enjoyed reading that had an interesting plot and showed how humans act when faced with life or death depending on their testimonies, and how life is a series of tests until death.
The word crucible means a heat-resistant container or a severe test. I believe Arthur Miller, the author, had called it "The Crucible" because his play is about a severe test or tests. The main characters are Reverend Parris, who has a daughter Betty, John Proctor, who is married to Elizabeth, Abigail Williams, is a teenage that lies, has an affair, and is a niece to Reverend Parris, and Reverend Hale, who is a young minister that claims he is an expert on witchcraft.
I liked this play because it is similar to everyday life of facing good and evil. It gives an outlook for knowing the right things to do and putting words into actions. The play illustrates the effect it can have on someone's life when so much evil has caused damage before learning to be honest and doing what is right. Throughout the play there are times when the character must make a choice, lie and live, or tell the truth and die. The test of lying to live is something I would never want to have to face, especially in that time period when the means of execution was hanging.
John Proctor, a farmer, is truly put to the test. He is a good person, but has an affair with Abigail. When Reverend Parris' daughter is said to be bedridden due to an unknown illness, everyone in town is concerned. The truth of what happened is that Abigail and a few girls did a witchcraft dance around a fire at night and drank blood. Because Betty is feeling so guilty, she stares and doesn't talk while she is bedridden. Abigail wants everyone to lie about what happened around the fire. John Proctors comes to visit Betty. When he arrives, Abigail looks at him with alluring eyes. Proctor states, "Ah, you're wicked yet aren't you!" (22) Here is a test for John Proctor. He has done wrong by having an affair and now alone with his former lover, he is tempted by her to try again. Abigail tries to encourage him, but he refuses her. This part I like in the played because it is a test of what is right.
Elizabeth knows her husband is a good person, even though he has sinned by having the affair. John stops going to church because the guilt of his affair and the dislike he has of the sermons of Rev. Parris about material things. John states to Elizabeth, "He sees no light of God in that man"(58) John recognizes this greed, but also his sorrow for his affair and having to be reminded by it, if he did go to church. Here is another test for John, a test of faith.
Abigail has her group of girls having everyone in town believing that the town is filled with witchcraft. Her followers are: Mary Warren, Ruth Putnam, Mercy Lewis and Betty Parris. They tell everyone that they have seen different people with the devil. Of course, Abigail eventually states that Elizabeth is working with the devil and tried to put a needle in her. The town goes into hysteria and people are brought to trial. During the start of the trial John's wife, Elizabeth begs John to testify in court that Abigail is a liar. Here is another test for John. Should he admit his adultery to the town or let Abigail continue to lie at the cost of others' lives? John states, "My wife will not die! I will bring your guts into your mouth, but that goodness will not die for me!" (76 )John's wife forgave him for the affair but now her life is at risk. John once again is faced with a test, to lie and live or not.
Finally, John admits about his affair with Abigail. Abigail's jealousy and lies have caused the deaths of so many. John is placed in jail. Now John has to decide to cleanse his name or lie. John knows Abigail lies about witchcraft and falsely accusing people from her town as following the devil, caused deaths of innocent people.
Elizabeth cries out at the end, "He have his goodness now, God forbid I take it away from him!" (126) John had a choice to lie and save his life, or tell the truth and die. Elizabeth knows John is a man who is right, even though he has not always done the right thing. Should John lie and save his life? This is the final test for John. To find out the ending, read "The Crucible!"This play is a test about life and finding out how important honesty is to you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Crucible; dont read the introduction., March 28 2004
By 
Sara Martin (Wexford, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The subject of witchcraft has always intrigued me. Unfortunately this play did not keep my interest. The biggest reason was because the introduction, written by Christopher Bigsby, gave away the ending of the play. He said that damages were paid to John Proctor's wife Elisabeth after he was executed on August 19,1692. I know the play was for the most part historically accurate. I just didn't understand why he needed to state the anticipated ending of the play on the book on the second page of the book. The rest of the introduction was interesting. I liked how he compared the fear the people in Salem had of witches to the Red Scare. He said the only difference was that communists were real. This analogy helped me to relate the ridiculous fear these people had of withes to something tangible. The play itself was less exciting than I thought it would be. It was a little hard to follow. There were many characters and many things going on at once. I didn't like how there wasn't a single character who you felt like you could relate to. I liked how throughout the play you couldn't help but have a sense of disbelief about what was going on. I was amazed that the people of Salem so easily believed children without proof. It was unbelievable how by simply telling a judge that you saw a person with the devil they were guilty until proven innocent. I gave this play three stars because it was a good story. It wasn't the best book I have ever read, but I think it was more me than the book that was the problem. I would suggest reading the play before reading the introduction.
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3.0 out of 5 stars book report, Feb. 17 2004
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The Crucible, a play written by Author Miller in the 1953. It is a drama about The Salem, Massachusetts witch hunt in the 1692 and people were accused of doing witchcraft without any solid proof because lots of people were being killed. I've noticed that the world has seriously changed from the 1692 till today. In the present days, who would still believe in witchcraft? Almost no one talks about it. But during the 1692, people believed in witchcrafts, they even believe that their relatives are witch. Men, Women, teenagers, child, anyone, any age! If you have any certain strange action, people will assume you are a witch. For example, Abigail and the girls were dancing around the fire. Well, the village people saw it and they started accusing that Abigail and the girls are witches. If more than two people think that you are a witch than that is it, everyone will treat you as if you were a witch. I've never read a play before. And this drama really caught my attention. I was amazed by what one person will do to save his reputation and others lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!, Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a play in four acts, deals with the witch-craze in Salem in the 17th century. A minister from Salem discovers a groups of teenage girls dancing naked around a fire in the woods. As the girls are aware of the fact that they will have to face severe punishment for their action, they claim to have been possessed by evil spirits. This causes a major outcry in the Puritan community of Salem and a court is formed to deal with and investigate the accusations of the girls in further detail.
At first, only a few people are accused of witchcraft but in the course of events over a hundred people are accused of bewitching the girls. Even people with a very good reputation who have never acted against the will of God or the community are sent to prison due to suspicion, gossip or denunciation.
It is clear that in many cases theo girls accuse people with whom they have had some kind of problems or against whom they hold some sort of grievance. Abigail Williams accuses Elizabeth Proctor, her former employer, after having been dismissed from work by Mrs. Proctor. Abigail was the Proctors' servant but had to leave their home because Elizabeth Proctor suspected her of having an affair with her husband.
Elizabeth Proctor is sent to prison but not hanged immediately due to the fact that she is pregnant. As John Proctor tries to come to the rescue of his wife, he himself runs into difficulties because he is suspected of undermining the court.
Some of the accused avoid execution by "confessing" that they have a pact with the devil but 19 people are hanged. John Proctor does not want to confess a crime he has not committed. However, he changes his decision because of his wife and his three children and decides to sign a confession in order to save his life. But he immediately regrets his decision, tears up the confession and is brought to his execution.
The Crucible is a very impressive and powerful play. It illustrates the irrationality of the people which is strongly connected with their fears and superstitious beliefs. Miller manages to show that the people really believed that what they did was right and only done to protect a community of god-fearing people.
By reading The Crucible you can learn to understand the point of view and the world of the accusers. You begin to understand that the actions of the Puritans are very logical in their own way. You start to understand the beliefs of the accusers and even develop a kind of sympathy for them and their fears.
On the whole, The Crucible is easy to read and can also be read in one setting. The plot is easy to follow, extremely exciting and keeps you in its grip from the fist to the last line. I believe that The Crucible is hugely recommendable for everyone who is interested in understanding the witch-craze and the point of view of the accusers as well as the accused.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Crucible: A jewel for every reader, Jan. 31 2004
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a play in four acts, deals with the witch-craze in Salem in the 17th century. A minister from Salem discovers a group of teenage girls dancing naked around a fire in the woods. As the girls are aware of the fact that they will have to face severe punishment for their action, they claim to have been possessed by evil spirits. This causes a major outcry in the Puritan community of Salem and a court is formed to deal with and investigate the accusations of the girls in further detail.
At first, only a few people are accused of witchcraft but in the course of events over a hundred people are accused of bewitching the girls. Even people with a very good reputation who have never acted against the will of God or the community are sent to prison due to suspicion, gossip or denunciation.
It is clear that in many cases the girls accused people with whom they have had problems or against whom they hold some kind of grievance. Abigail Williams accuses Elizabeth Proctor, her former employer, after having been dismissed from work by her. Abigail was the Proctors' servant but had to leave their house because Elizabeth Proctor suspected her of having an affair with her husband.
Elizabeth Proctor is sent to prison but not hanged immediatley because she is pregnant. As John Proctor tries to come to the rescue of his wife, he himself runs into difficulties because he is suspecting of undermining the court.
Some of the accused avoid execution by "confessing" their pact with the devil but 19 people are hanged. John Proctor refuses to confess a crime he has not committed. However, he changes his decision because of his wife and three children and decides to sign a confession in order to save his life. But he immediately regrets his decision, tears up the confession and is executed.
The Crucible is a very impressive and powerful play. It illustrates the irrationality of the people which is strongly connected with their fears and superstitious beliefs. Miller manages to show that the people really believed that what they did was right and only done to protect a community of god-fearing people.
By reading The Crucible you can learn to understand the point of view and the world of the accusers. You begin to understand that the actions of the Puritans are very logical in their own way. You start to understand the beliefs of the accusers and even develop a kind of sympathy for them and their fears.
On the whole, The Crucible is easy to read and can also be read in one setting. The plot is easy to follow, extremely exciting and keeps you in its grip from the fist to the last line. I believe that The Crucible is hugely recommendable for everyone who is interested in understanding the witch-craze and the point of view of the accusers as well as the accused.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "lowering heaven ..., Jan. 30 2004
By 
Daveda J. Campbell "tcmanifesto" (Friendswood, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The Crucible is the first Arthur Miller play I've read. The plot summary and reviews I read made it seem appealing, suspenseful if nothing else. But no matter how great something is, it is nearly impossible to convey those feelings in the form of an Amazon review.
It's easy for me to admit that after reading the introduction I was turned off by the language, not esoteric enough to be genuine 17th century english and not terse enough to be mid 50's language, the intro exists in a world in between the two describing the key characters in the play and the setting which it is taking place. Having decent knowledge of the Salem Witch Trials and how Miller correlated the tragedy to his experience with McCartheyism during "the red scare." Miller's details are so personal that it almost seems like this is a first hand account of the trials. The play evolves under perfect dynamics the exposition is descriptive but not boring, the main conflict had me at the edge of my seat grimacing in Proctor's pain and burning with hatred at the injustices being executed. Finally the climax brings arrays of the human emotional spectrum into a pleasing and redeeming conclusion.
Overall this is the best American Play I have read, although my knowledge of American playwrights is limited I would venture to say that Arthur Miller is a genius and that this play is one of the crowning achievements of American Drama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miller's Masterpiece?, Jan. 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
As much as I love DEATH OF A SALESMAN (my favorite play), A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (a gripping modern Greek tragedy), and ALL MY SONS (a sadly underrated play), I am sometimes convinced that THE CRUCIBLE is Arthur Miller's masterpiece. It is Shakespearean in structure and has a large cast of intriguing characters, the most fascinating of whom is the protagonist, John Proctor. Unlike SALESMAN's Willy Loman, Proctor is a true tragic hero, because his "fall from grace" - his adultery - makes it necessary for him to face a series of trials that test, with ever-increasing severity, his moral character (hence the play's title). In the end, Proctor loses his life but saves his soul - or his "name," as he calls it. I find the final image of Proctor tearing his false confession and following his friends to the gallows extremely moving. Proctor is a hero because, though flawed, he is a basically good man who is tested to his limits and ultimately passes the tests. Proctor does what is right even when it means he must sacrifice his life.
Having read the play four times and seen it twice, I do think that some may find it a bit too "cerebral." This is because Miller has so many IDEAS about the meaning of good and evil and of honor, justice, etc., and his characters spend a lot of time TALKING about them. There is a lack of action in THE CRUCIBLE if one compares it to (say) A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. However, the theatricality of the sequences in which the girls of Salem seem to be possessed by demons more than compensate for static stretches in which the characters talk only (for instance, the scene in which Reverend Hale is questioning the Proctors). Is THE CRUCIBLE Miler's masterpiece, after all? I haven't decided yet. But it is a fascinating drama with a great tragic hero, John Proctor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Crucible b, Jan. 15 2004
By 
Marcus (Wexford, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The small town of Salem is devastated to find out that its own young and charming women in the town are witches of the black art. This story starts out simply enough, in the village pastor's house. His daughter has been odd lately and doctors and such have come to see if they can help the girl with her problems. They soon realize they are dealing with something far more evil then any disease. I personally hate reading unless I have to, but this book had a certain something to it that pulled me right in. Perhaps it was the relationship you develop out of sympathy for the townsmen and their women. Maybe it's curiosity of who will be accused of witchcraft next. Whatever the case, I simply couldn't put down that book. The Crucible is a play and is written in the format of a play. This can pose a problem to someone who doesn't read a lot of literature, or is confused easily. In the beginning of the story the characters run in and out of the scenes so quickly and with little more then mentioning their name. So some might completely forget who entire families are until they are brought back to you later on in the story. Either that or you'll have to go back and read everything again just to make yourself sure you know who they are. I did. Other than the difficulty I experienced following who was who in the beginning. I found myself trapped in this book, and had to find out what happened in the ending. This book is very difficult to read, but if you can make it through the first couple of chapters, this will be one of your favorite books. It is very well written and definitely worth checking out even if you are only moderately interested in these kinds of books. I give it two thumbs up!
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The Crucible
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Paperback - Jan. 1 1976)
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