"I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history."
Taking as the play's basis the Salem witch-hunt of 1692, Arthur Miller demonstrates its contemporary social relevance, drawing the parallel between this event and the McCarthyism that gripped America in the 1950s. In this classic parable of communal hysteria Miller depicts not an indifferent society but one in which positive evil is unleashed. This takes the form of the persecution of minority groups and the interference of the state in the conscience of the individual. As a savage attack on the ills of "ideological intensities', The Crucible remains unrivalled.
As the small Salem community is stirred into madness and the play reaches the violent climax, the events it describes become a timeless vision of the evils of mindless persecution.
"A rending exploration of a community possessed by the demons of superstition, malice and fear"--The Times Literary Supplement
Possibly the best American play of this century" --Financial Times
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