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The Crucible

Revised Edition

A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community, presented here with enlightening criticism and commentary

"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."
This 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

Portrait
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.
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  • The CrucibleIntroduction
    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

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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 512
Altersempfehlung ab 18
Erscheinungsdatum 01.01.1996
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-024772-5
Reihe Viking Critical Library
Verlag Penguin Books USA
Maße (L/B/H) 19.5/12.8/2.3 cm
Gewicht 354 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 18.90
Fr. 18.90
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
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