By Harold Bloom
The Crucible, Arthur Miller's vintage play in regards to the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, is returning to Broadway. To mark the party, Penguin is happy to supply this pretty hardcover variation. "A robust drama." (Brooks Atkinson, the recent York instances)
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Extra resources for Arthur Miller's The Crucible (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
I’ll whip you if you dare leave this house again! (264–65) What is important in this scene is not just that Elizabeth’s lack of charity toward John leads directly to Proctor’s lack of charity both toward Elizabeth and toward Mary Warren as she enters the house; or that this cycle of anger and recrimination causes further hostility on the parts of the two women who hold each other’s and John’s fate in their hands. ”, she pleads], but absolutely refuses even to acknowledge that the affair ever occurred: “PROCTOR: Wipe it out of mind.
41 42 Edmund S. Morgan John Proctor, a love affair that is nowhere suggested by the records. Miller’s Abigail is not so much a transformation as a creation. So, for that matter, is his John Proctor. It might have been better not to have given either of them the name of an actual person who figures in the historical record. But the artist’s relation to the historical record has to be different from the historian’s. If the artist binds himself too closely to known factual details, the result may be an aesthetic disaster.
And for this reason Miller turns to the Puritan Americans for his subject. For the Salem witch trials raised supremely History and Other Spectres in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible 23 well the same terror of a “subjective reality” metamorphosing into a “holy resonance” and assuming an objective truth. Indeed, in one sense, this is what the controversy of spectre evidence was all about. Furthermore, the recreating of this “subjective reality” in the equally “subjective reality” of a drama representing both history and literature—themselves two versions of reality created by the human imagination—directly confronts the relationship of the subjective and the objective, and provides a model for mediating between the two, a model which has at its centre the very issue of memory which is also of paramount importance to Miller.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Harold Bloom