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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Play Ever
This play is a major must-read. It's about a young girl turned deadly when she is scorned by the married man she wants. Set in the era of the Salem witch trials, the common matter of an adulterous affair becomes a matter of life & death - literally -as the young girl points her finger & cries "Witch!", so to speak, in order to get back at the married man...
Published on July 3 2004 by Jehanne d'Arc

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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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Crucible of Communism" by RexCurry.net, Feb. 7 2004
By 
Rex Curry "RexCurry.net" (Tampa, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" is an unintentional condemnation of socialism/communism. The Crucible (1953) describes the witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, an event that Miller wanted to use as a metaphor for 1950's McCarthyism. Most theater-goers did not comprehend Miller's intended anti-capitalist message. Later, the play became a darkly humorous, condemnation of socialism/communism when Miller's naive attempt at propaganda became widely known.
In his 1996 article "Why I wrote The Crucible: An Artist's answer to Politics" Miller never mentions that no one was ever killed by McCarthy, though the greatest slaughter that ever occurred (by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China, the National Socialist German Worker's Party, the Khmer Rouge and by people like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot and their followers) was committed by socialists/communists during McCarthy's life, and would continue to be committed after "The Crucible" was written.
Here are some death totals: (1) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 62 million deaths, 1917-'87; (2) People's Republic of China, 35 million deaths, 1949-'87; (3) National Socialist German Worker's Party, 21 million deaths, 1933-'45;
Compare that with the Salem Witch Trials (a dozen deaths?) or McCarthy (zero?).
McCarthy was no libertarian. As a U.S. Senator, McCarthy did more damage promoting socialism then did Miller. During McCarthy's term, federal socialism grew, and McCarthy made no effort to end the social security scam, to reverse F.D.R.'s massive socialism, to end government schools, or to reduce the federal government. In comparison, Miller wrote famous plays in which socialist/communist propaganda is so vague it is invisible.
Miller doesn't fault McCarthy for the growth of federal socialism. Miller faults McCarthy for persecuting fellow travelers and useful idiots (like Miller?) for the world's the socialist trio of atrocities. Miller's play depicts trials wherein children accuse adults of evil abuse in furies of fanaticism and paranoia. Similar scenes are replayed a million-fold in historic documentaries about the cultural revolution under Mao in the People's Republic of China, about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and about other socialist and communist countries and their modern witch hunts for non-communists.
Miller was interested in the tragedy of people who, under social pressure, lose their integrity. The Crucible explores this theme in the context of the Salem witch trials. Many citizens of Salem lost their sense of decency and community when they went along with the crowd to continue persecution of the innocent. The crucible of communism replayed such tragedies millions of times in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China, and the National Socialist German Worker's Party before and after 1953.
Today, Miller's play is used in classrooms to impeach McCarthy, and not to expose the real-life show trials and mass-slaughters of millions by in the U.S.S.R., Communist China, and the National Socialist German Worker's Party by socialists and communists. The play "The Crucible" should be renamed "The Crucible of Communism."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A play on human nature, Aug. 22 2006
By 
Eugene Ius (Montréal, Qc) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The crucible - the famous allegory for the McCarthyism era - is a thought provoking play, from one of the most eminent American playwrights, based on the ignorance of man which still exists. I will not go into details concerning the relation between McCarthyism and "The Crucible" since I am reviewing the play; for further reference I suggest seeing the movie "Good Night and Good Luck." I liked the concept of the play but found the play itself rather dull for most part, even though the ending slightly reconciled me. The character cast is a miscellany from the grotesque to the simple and is my favourite aspect. Overall the story is quite shocking and I suggest reading it because of its allusion to the common man under excruciating circumstances rather than as literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Play Ever, July 3 2004
This play is a major must-read. It's about a young girl turned deadly when she is scorned by the married man she wants. Set in the era of the Salem witch trials, the common matter of an adulterous affair becomes a matter of life & death - literally -as the young girl points her finger & cries "Witch!", so to speak, in order to get back at the married man & his wife. It is such a riveting story that you won't want to put the book down until you've reached the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 26 2004
By A Customer
This is a riveting story told with in-depth expression in this book.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Witchin book, March 22 2004
By 
Millie (Baldwin Park, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
The book "The Crucible" is interesting. In the beginning, this book was a little bit boring, but then it got interesting. This book talks about lies and adultery. This book will be good for people who like history because it's a historical book. This book is about 152 pages long and it's intended for the intermediate reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miller's Best..., March 3 2004
This review is from: The Crucible (Paperback)
This play has always held a special significance for me. It was the first Arthur Miller play I ever saw performed on stage, and it is also a chilling comparison between the past and present.
Miller uses the Salem witch trials as the setting of his play, but it is actually play of its time. Written during the McCarthy Era, a witch-hunt of a different kind, Miller uses the Salem witch trials to illustrate what was happening (and is still happening) in the USA. "Guilt by association" is the order of the day, civil rights are violated, and many individuals and families are destroyed.
This also hits me personally, as I know of one individual who was a victim of the McCarthy witch hunt. I just recently found out about this, and after reading Miller's play again after many years, it took on a whole new significance for me. I am grateful to all who stood up to those who tried to take away our most precious rights, and to Miller for writing this play.
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The Crucible
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Paperback - Jan. 1 1976)
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