FOR STUDENTS : ALL THE INGREDIENTS OF A GOOD ESSAY
The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, first performed in 1953, has become a classic of American literature and theatre. Set in Salem, Massachusetts during the infamous witch trials of the late 17th century, The Crucible explores themes of power, reputation, and mass hysteria in a society plagued by fear and suspicion.
Through its vivid characters and gripping plot, The Crucible offers a searing commentary on the dangers of groupthink and the consequences of unchecked authority. Miller’s play draws on historical events to examine the ways in which people are manipulated and oppressed, and how they can resist and fight back.
The essays included on this page offer a variety of perspectives on The Crucible, from literary analysis to historical context to contemporary relevance. They are intended to provide examples of the kinds of insights and arguments that students might explore in their own writing about the play. Whether you are new to The Crucible or a seasoned reader, we hope that these essays will inspire you to engage with the play’s powerful themes and ideas.
Slide 1: ‘Through the telling and receiving of stories, we become more aware of ourselves and our shared human experiences.’ Through the transmission of stories, we can gain an appreciation and understanding of how society has universally dictated human actions and experiences and thus, may influence our own perceptions and actions within the framework of … Read more
The desire to preserve and gain power pervades The Crucible as the witch trials lead to dramatic changes in which characters hold the greatest control over the course of events. Abigail’s power skyrockets as the hysteria grows more severe. Where before she was just an orphaned teenager, now, in the midst of the trials, … Read more
June 12, 2016 marked the day of the worst terrorist attack recorded, the Orlando Nightclub shooting. Many lives were lost, many victims were injured, and many loved ones were devastated. On the other hand, The Crucible was written portraying the Salem Witch Trials. The Crucible was written during the communist red scare in 1952. Mass … Read more
Hurricane Katrina came to be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. A category 5 hurricane lasting for 33 days, Katrina first made landfall on August 23, 2005, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With winds varying from 70-170 miles per hour. With very little warning, more than 1,800 lives were taken due to … Read more
The Sacred Journey Of Marriage "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller is a story based on the study of the huge hysteria that led to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials. The story is revolved around real events that happened in history that portray the way life was, in this particular era. In this play, Miller … Read more
Arthur Miller is best known for his famous timeless plays. Some examples include “The Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”, which are his most famous plays. Miller was born in New York City in 1915, and had a successful family who own a clothing business. After the Great Depression in 1929, his family lost … Read more
For many years, Burton Adventist Academy, the largest Seventh-day Adventist school in the Southwestern Union, has built a reputation for itself from its dynamic, original, and family-friendly drama productions. Every year, families across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex come and enjoy these productions. As Burton Academy decides on it’s next production to perform, Arthur Miller’s The … Read more
Arthur Miller was an American playwright born in New York City on October 17, 1915. Miller’s talent, combined with the period of history he witnessed, gave him a unique perspective on the world. He was heavily influenced by the Great Depression because his father, a small-scale manufacturer, suffered from the financial upset. This exposed … Read more
John Procter is at fault for the Salem witch trails because he was guilty of sin of pride, adultery, and he cared more about his reputation over his integrity. In the play the crucible written by Arthur Miller, was about the Salem witch trails that took place in the Massachusetts bay colony. In the play … Read more
In society globally citizens live under the rules of someone or something, but many of those people who have that power use it in the correct way. A quote once said by Abraham Lincoln states, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if want to test a man’s character, give him power”. What Lincoln is … Read more
The play The Crucible is a perfect allegory for the era in which the book itself was written. Miller attempts to parallel the crucible in the book to the political environment of the time period that he wrote the book during, with the puritans being the American citizens and their religion being the anti communist … Read more
Crucible repeated, AGAIN! Love, hate, religion, and reputation are all common themes in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. These themes play a large role in today’s society. Written in 1952 about Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692, Miller uses the Salem witch trials as a clear indication that history repeats itself. America in the 1950s showed … Read more
In the play, The Crucible, John Proctor quoted “Because it is my name!, Because I cannot have another in my life. How may I live without my name, leave me my name! ( page 138).” He has very strong belief’s that if his name is blackened there is no reason to live. John Proctor also … Read more
The essential purpose of any text is to teach one about the ontological (self) and sociological (world). Arthur Miller, in his 1953 play The Crucible, explores the political and social consequences of the argumentative ‘Cold War’ period in American history when the common fear of communism arose. John Pilger’s political documentary Breaking the Silence: Truth … Read more
According to Christopher Caudwell, every artist has his or her own way of expressing their works. They tend to register a particular pattern in terms of the themes, styles, arguments and language use which seems prevalent in almost all of their works. Arthur Miller is among the prolific literature authors and playwrights in America with; … Read more
Writing essays on ‘The Crucible’
There are several key topics, themes, and points to consider when writing an essay on The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Here are some ideas:
The power of fear: One of the most prominent themes in The Crucible is the power of fear. The characters in the play are consumed by fear of witchcraft and the devil, which drives them to hysteria and causes them to make irrational decisions. You could explore how Miller uses fear to comment on the dangers of groupthink and the consequences of irrational behavior.
The role of reputation: Another important theme in The Crucible is the role of reputation. The characters are obsessed with maintaining their reputations and avoiding accusations of witchcraft, which leads them to make choices that are often in conflict with their values. You could analyze how Miller explores the theme of reputation and how it affects the characters’ decisions and relationships.
The danger of conformity: The Crucible also examines the dangers of conformity and the pressure to conform to social norms. The characters in the play are expected to conform to religious and cultural expectations, and those who do not are accused of witchcraft. You could discuss how Miller critiques conformity and its effects on individual freedom and identity.
The abuse of power: The characters in The Crucible wield power over others, often to devastating effect. You could explore how Miller critiques the abuse of power and the consequences it has for individuals and society as a whole.
The historical context: The Crucible is set in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials of the late 17th century. You could examine how Miller uses the historical context to comment on the political and cultural climate of his own time, including the anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era.
These are just a few of the many topics, themes, and points that can be explored in an essay on The Crucible. Depending on your interests and focus, you may choose to delve into other aspects of the play, such as its characters, symbolism, or literary techniques. The key is to develop a clear thesis statement and use evidence from the text to support your argument.