Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Crucible ~ Arthur Miller

The Crucible is a play based upon actual historical facts and people from the Salem Witch Trials. ... I feel sorry for anyone who had to sit through the play when it was originally performed. ... The characters portrayed in the play are real people who were directly involved in the trials that took place in 1692 in Salem, MA although the events, actions, and personalities of the characters in the play are purely fictitious.

The story focuses on Abigail Williams, the niece of Reverend Samuel Parris, and Abigail’s friends whom we soon find out where all participating in some questionable behavior. The curtain opens upon Reverend Parris praying over his afflicted daughter, Betty. Various neighbors enter and exit the scene and pronounce the child to be possessed, much to the horror of Reverend Parris.

Whether Betty was truly ill or simply acting I never found out because I quit reading the story after 20 pages. The characters were so cruel and generally annoying that I couldn’t stand reading about them. I don’t know why Arthur Miller chose to make his historically Puritan characters out to be so malicious. Even though the book was only 140 pages long I did not want to finish the story. Had I been in the audience during the original 1953 Broadway production I would cringed the entire time.

2 comments:

Rosebud said...

Well, I know the Puritans did go a little overboard in their treatment of those who believed differently from them; kind of sad, because they left England because of the Anglicans treating them like that. =S

Anna said...

Those people WERE malicious. They hung/crushed many men and women for being "witches" when they just happened to be different from the norm. I think the rest of the play explains that.