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When was The Crucible first performed?
1953 at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway
What is The Crucible a historicization of?
The Salem Witch Trials
(fictionalisation of real events)
What religion did people in Salem follow? What did they want?
- Desired a continued reformation of the church
What is the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colony?
A group of Puritans that established a governmental system that aimed to unite state and church
How many people left England in the great migration in 1628?
What did 1600s communities settled in America decide if they had a good crop season?
That God was blessing them for their good behaviour
- The opposite applied for a bad crop season
- People were either entirely bad or entirely good
- The Witch Trials occurred during bad crop seasons
Who said that 'community can conquer individualism'?
John Winthrop, an English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony
In which year were the Salem Witch Trials?
What was Arthur Miller's opinion on the Salem Witch Trials?
He described them as one of the most awful events in history
How many people died as a consequence of the Salem Witch Trials?
20 and two dogs out of 140 people were put on trial
Why did people admit to being witches?
If they didn't they would be hanged
What is spectral evidence?
- When a person claims to have seen evidence of another person interacting with the devil.
- Only they can/have seen the evidence which leads to people lying about things
- vengeance rather than justice
- wasn't used after the trials
What may the Witch Trials suggest about the people of Salem? 6 things
- A class conflict
- Anti-puritanism movement
- Coming of capitalism
- Repression of women
- Epidemic illness
- Drug use
Who first confesses to seeing the devil?
What is the 'Great Awakening'?
- A sharp increase of interest in religion
- a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected
- an increase in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations.
How did Miller describe writing The Crucible?
Like 'writing a new language, one that would require new muscle'
When was Arthur Miller born?
What can The Crucible be read as a parable for?
Mid-Twentieth century McCarthyism
What does Proctor show by refusing to sign the confession?
- That he has a desire to retain his name and therefore a truth in language
- He loses his name if he signs the confession
What is The Crucible an allegory for?
The red scare during the Cold War
What does HUAC stand for?
House Un-American Activities Commitee, est. 1938
What consequences did Arthur Miller face as a result of writing The Crucible?
Isolation from his friends because he was writing about the red scare
What was McCarthyism?
Senetor Joseph McCarthy spreading fear about communism and getting thousands of people arrested and put on trial
Why was Miller 'startled' about the similarity between his red scare allegory and the Witch Trials?
Because of the 'similarities in the rituals of defence and the investigative routines'
What does the repeated refrain in the court in The Crucible mimick?
Questioning at communist trials - 'are you now or have you ever been a member of an American communist party?'
How did J. Edgar Hoover describe communism?
'A condition akin to disease'
Under what conditions may the Witch Trials not have happened?
- If women weren't repressed
- If the society was stable in its future
- Not such a strong belief in the devil
What are the key differences between The Crucible play and the film? 3 things
- Filmed in US, setting the scene more accurately than on stage
- Abigail is part of the witches' blood ritual before having been suspected of part of it (ruins this element)
- Proctors final scene is on a symbolic cliff rather than a prison cell
What were Miller's thoughts on films?
- Lower standard than plays or books
- 'The stage wants to talk' whereas movies just show
Who first directed The Crucible, after it had been rejected muliple times?
He thought the subject and language of the play was a strength
How long had Salem been established for when the trials happened?
Approx. 40 years
What is a theocracy?
A system of government in which rules are based around a God
How many of Proctor's children are baptised?
2/3 which gives Hale evidence that he might not be a good Christian