The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a very complex and interesting book. Arthur Miller knows how to keep an audience captivated. The play was written during the period of American History commonly known as McCarthyism. Arthur Miller was convicted of being a communist sympathiser because he had signed a couple of petitions. What made Miller link these actions to the Salem witch-hunt was that the as like the Salem investigations people were brought forward to confess being a communist sympathiser and forced to name other people who also were communist sympathisers.

McCarthy and his disciples all became just as paranoid as the Salem judges were. Any criticism was an offence of being a communist sympathiser. Therefore, for Arthur Miller the link between the Salem witch-hunt and the goings on at the time was crystal-clear Arthur already had obtained knowledge of the witch-hunts from his college days and the subject was refreshed even more when he read ‘The Devil in Massachusetts’ by Marion Starkey. In act two, Hale enters into the house at a crucial point it is when Elizabeth has shouted out ‘She has an arrow in you yet John Proctor and you know it well’.

Hale comes in and asks about why they have not been at church or had their youngest son christened. He then asks if they both know the Ten Commandments. Elizabeth does but John does not. They have a little argument about the existence of witches and more importantly the existence of witches in the proctor house. Giles and Francis burst into Proctor’s house and inform him that their wives had been arrested on trivial charges. Ezekiel Cheever then burst in with a warrant for Elizabeth’s arrest.

Proctor becomes extremely angry this time he will not just give up Elizabeth without a fight and even goes as far as to rip up the warrant that Ezekiel brought in. Even though the charge had been proved, false Ezekiel still took away Elizabeth. Seeing Elizabeth chained was too much for Proctor to handle Herrick was confronted by John to stop him from chaining Elizabeth but John got dragged back by Herrick and two deputies. Hale then almost timidly approaches John and responds to his anger by talking about the goodness of the court.

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