The Crucible …a review

It is a play by the playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. N recommended this play when I said I wanted to read and be a little freaked out. I wasn’t looking for a play, though. Frankly, I have been so heavily into Shakespeare from an early age that any other play I find hard to follow. The Crucible, however, was short and highly recommended. So I picked it up and believe me, I had trouble sleeping after I was done with it at about three in the night.

To begin with, a group of girls goes dancing in the forest with a black slave named Tituba. While dancing, they are caught by the local minister, Reverend Parris. One of the girls, Parris’s daughter Betty, falls into a coma-like state. From here on begins a dramatic series of events, all surrounding well-respected people in the puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts. This play is a must-read if you are into themes that mess with one’s head in wicked ways.

The courtroom scene is legendary. An excerpt from that scene:

HALE (Reverend, expert on witchcraft): (He cries out in anguish.) I believe him! I cannot turn my face from it no more. (Pointing at Abigail.) This girl has always struck me false! She… (Abigail with a weird cry screams up to ceiling.)

ABIGAIL (Parris’ niece ): You will not! Begone! Begone, I say! (Mercy and Susanna rise, looking up.)

DANFORTH (pretentious judge): What is it, child? (She is transfixed—with all the girls, in complete silence, she is open-mouthed, agape at ceiling, and in great fear.) Girls! Why do you…?

MERCY (servant): It’s on the beam!—behind the rafter!

DANFORTH: (Looking up.) Where!

ABIGAIL: Why…? Why do you come, yellow bird?

PROCTOR (farmer): Where’s a bird? I see no bird!

ABIGAIL: (To ceiling, in a genuine conversation with the “bird” as though trying to talk it out of attacking her.) My face? My face?! But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary.

Imagine this being enacted!

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