The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Tuesday, February 19th
THE CRUCIBLE – BRIEF SUMMARY
The year is 1692, and The Crucible begins shortly after a group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts, have been discovered engaged in, what is thought to be, an act of devil worship. Two of the girls have a connection with the local preacher of Salem. The village gathers and local rivalries, affairs, jealousies and bullying are brought to a head. Various inhabitants of the village are accused by the young girls of being in league with the devil.
John Proctor, a local farmer, tries to get his marriage to Elizabeth back on track after his brief affair with Abigail Williams, one of the young girls. However, it is not long before Elizabeth is also accused of being a witch and she is dragged off to prison.
The indicted women are being tried in the local court where the young girls continue to accuse more and more inhabitants of Salem of being witches. Proctor brings his servant, Mary Warren, to the court in an attempt to expose the rest of the girls as liars. However, Mary Warren becomes so scared of retribution from the girls that she reneges, and accuses Proctor himself of being in league with the devil.
In the final act, Proctor comes close to confessing as true, the lies that he has been involved in black magic. There is finally reconciliation between Proctor and Elizabeth.
Arthur Miller’s play was first produced in the early 1950s when the USA was riven with accusations of communist sympathies. It has since come to be regarded as one of the finest American dramas and is to be found on many an exam syllabus, both in the States and here in the UK. It is also revisited many times in dramatic revivals.
Price: Adults £11, Concessions £10, Students £6
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