One of the major themes in The Crucible is hysteria and how it allows the people of the town to give up reason and morality. In order to understand why so many of the towns people are afraid, the community of Salem begins to believe that this fear has justifiable origins. The people of Salem are so concerned with their reputations that they are willing to let others be harmed, fuelling hysteria in the process, just to protect themselves (Florman and Kestler). Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible shows how hysteria, powered by religious zeal, replaces logic, leading to chaotic situations that ultimately tear apart the community. Much of the hysteria brought onto the community is powered largely by the strict Puritans’ religious zeal.
During the late 17th century a total of 200 people were accused of participating in witchcraft, while 19 people lost their lives to the mass hysteria. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a group of girls start a huge uproar in Salem, Massachusetts when they start screeching about Salemites being associated with the Devil. Throughout the play write, it shows the consequences of mass hysteria and how it puts people's lives in danger. Abigail Williams causes a wave of mass hysteria and because of her trickery, innocent people have died by her and the other girl’s actions, for this Abigail is the most unforgivable character in The Crucible.
The Crucible The term hysteria is defined as: exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion. In Author Miller’s, The Crucible, hysteria is exactly what happens. The Crucible takes place in Salam Massachusetts, in 1692. The plot is centered on the events of the Salam witch trials. The movie opens up with the young girls of Salam dancing around a fire.
Stopping Panic One of America’s greatest plays is “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. The Crucible is based off of the true events of the Salem Witch Trials, which caused mass hysteria all throughout Salem; However, it was a satire that explained the hysteria during Arthur Miller’s time known as the “Red Scare”. During this satire, he uses characters that had real-life counterparts to explain how mass hysteria, which is exaggerated and uncontrollable emotions of fear, to show how people of his day were doing the same things and how they needed to stop it before it got worse. In the play, two characters who could have stopped the hysteria that plagued Salem were Abigail Williams and Reverend Hale. One character that could have stopped the hysteria was Abigail Williams.
Creating film adaptations of stage productions can be very easy, but creating a film adaptation of a stage production that makes effective use of the film medium to communicate an idea without losing the essence or message of the original production, well, it can be quite difficult. Although screenwriters, cinematographers, and directors have and use various tools that aren’t available to playwrights and book writers they often struggle with the effective presentation of an idea. They wonder what they could change to enhance the author’s message and how they could change it without losing/disparaging the original charm or themes. The constructive use of film techniques and film medium is the key to both a distinguished film adaptation, and the successful presentation of major ideas. It is evident that in Miller’s 1996 film adaptation that one of the major ideas present in The Crucible is the irony of male power.
In the 1790s, the French bourgeoisie were responsible for many deaths of powerful political peoples. In the early 20th century, prominent African Americans were targeted for attacks on their homes. The Gestapo hunted “enemies of the state” in Nazi occupied territories. And in 1692 and ‘93, the small town of Salem also followed this same line of conduct. It is a law of nature that those in power who fear or detest others will seek to have those ‘others’ silenced.
The Play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, is a book that explains the salem witch trials and how it relates to the cold war. During the cold war and the red scare everybody was scared that they were gonna get tried for being a communist. Everybody was scared in the crucible also. Arthur Miller explained the relationship really good. He used many different satirical devices, such as parody, incongruity and exaggeration.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is filled with fear, betrayal, and mass hysteria. The witch hunts that took place in this book were merely a domino effect of fear brought on by accusation of witchcraft. This ‘theme’ is commonly known as ‘scapegoating’ and, in this book, is commonly used by Abigail. Abigail perfectly embodies the theme of scapegoating by betraying friends and family to slip under the scrutinizing eyes of her town.
The author, Arthur Miller, wrote “The Crucible” that tells us the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. The society in Salem in 1692 was full of McCarthyism and fear because they thought their other citizens are doing witchcraft. Miller tells us that ignorance and fear combined can destroy a town’s social well-being. On the play, “The Crucible”, the citizens of Salem’s reacted with fear when they hear that someone has a sign of being a witch.
In a 1999 lecture, Arthur Miller described the height of McCarthyism as “being trapped inside a perverse work of art, one of those Escher constructs in which it is impossible to know whether a stairway is going up or down” (Clapp 366).” Miller spoke of his play, The Crucible, in that lecture, and the confusion he felt at the hysteria of the time. The history and the play parallel each other so much that it makes them inseparable in analysis. The Crucible, in respect to the McCarthy era, becomes a fun house mirror that distorts yet reveals a truer nature of the source. This kind of reflection appears in the corresponding attitudes, beliefs, and conditions that allow for and breed the hysteria living in late 17th Century Salem, and 1950's America.
Changing the Salem Hysteria Arthur Miller writes a play called The Crucible. In the play, there is a mass hysteria about witchcraft, all started by a group of girls lying about dancing in the woods. The people accused questioned and hanged if they did not confess. Two people that could have stopped the hysteria are Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor.