A Play in Four ActseBook - 1976
A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community
The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.
First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can.
"A drama of emotional power and impact" —New York Post
Baker & Taylor
A play revealing the Salem witch trials of the late seventeenth century and the problem of guilt by association.
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“Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.”
"Because it is my name! Because I can not have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!"
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Religious fervor meets conniving women, causes the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail schemes with the other girls to accuse other women of the town of being witches. In reality Abigail wishes to dispose of the wife of her lover. Many of the other women accusers have different motives. Those accused are ether hung or jailed, after no one is able to dissuade the judge of their guilt.
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