The true meaning of tragedy in the crucible by arthur miller

An excellent essay that is extremely pertinent to this question is Arthur Miller 's "Tragedy and the Common Man," in which Miller discusses the traditional classical understanding of tragedy as applying only to royal, high-born characters and argues that tragedy is a genre that is just as applicable to "normal" characters, or the "common man.

The true meaning of tragedy in the crucible by arthur miller

Miller bases the play on the historical account of the Salem witch trials. In particular he focuses on the discovery of several young girls and a slave playing in the woods, conjuring — or attempting to conjure — spirits from the dead.

Rather than suffer severe and inevitable punishment for their actions, the girls accused other inhabitants of Salem of practicing witchcraft. Ironically, the girls avoided punishment by accusing others of the very things of which they were guilty.

This desperate and perhaps childish finger-pointing resulted in mass paranoia and an atmosphere of fear in which everyone was a potential witch.

As the number of arrests increased, so did the distrust within the Salem community. A self-perpetuating cycle of distrust, accusation, arrest, and conviction emerged.

By the end ofthe Salem court had convicted and executed nineteen men and women. Miller creates an atmosphere and mood within the play reminiscent of the historical period and of Puritan culture. The inhabitants of Salem lived in a restrictive society. Although the Puritans left England to avoid religious persecution, they based their newly established society upon religious intolerance.

The Puritans demonstrated their faithfulness, honesty, and integrity through physical labor and strict adherence to religious doctrine. The Puritans had no tolerance for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior and punished individuals publicly and severely if they transgressed.

Miller captures the intolerance and religious fanaticism of the period and effectively incorporates them into the play. Reading about the Salem witch trials and the paranoid frenzy going on at the time is one thing, but witnessing the trials first hand is quite another experience.

Miller permits the audience to do just that by transforming the faceless names from history into living, breathing characters with desires, emotions, and freewill. Miller did make adjustments to the ages, backgrounds, and occupations of several of the individuals mentioned in the historical records, however.

For example, he lowers the age gap between John Proctor and Abigail Williams from sixty and eleven, respectively, to thirty-five and seventeen, enabling the plot line of an affair between the two.

Tragedy in Arthur Miller's The Crucible - SchoolWorkHelper

Proctor and his wife Elizabeth ran an inn as well as a farm, but Miller eliminates this detail. Finally, Miller chose to omit the fact that Proctor had a son who was also tortured during the witch trials because he refused to confess to witchcraft.

This classic love triangle appears repeatedly in literature, not to mention the supermarket tabloids. On one hand Miller addresses a particularly dark period in American history — a time in which society believed the Devil walked the streets of Salem and could become manifest in anyone, even a close neighbor or, worse yet, a family member.

On the other hand, Miller moves beyond a discussion of witchcraft and what really happened in Salem to explore human motivation and subsequent behavior. The play continues to affect audiences by allowing them to see how dark desires and hidden agendas can be played out. Abigail is a young woman who seizes an opportunity to reverse fate.

She has had an affair with Proctor, who now refuses to continue the affair out of a mixture of guilt and loyalty to his wife. Although Abigail enjoys being the chief witness of the court, her chief desire is to obtain Proctor, and she will do anything to bring this about, including self-mutilation and murder.

The Putnams also seize opportunity. The Royal Charter was revoked in and original land titles became invalid, creating a crisis of property rights. Individuals no longer felt secure with their landholdings because they could be reassigned at any time.

Discuss Arthur Miller as theorist of tragedy. | eNotes

As a result, neighbors distrusted one another and feuds broke out regarding property rights and clear deeds of ownership. Miller incorporates this aspect of the period into the play through the character of Mr. Like Abigail, a hidden agenda guides Putnam, namely his greed for land.

He too, will stop at nothing to satisfy his desire, even if attaining his goal means murdering his neighbors by falsely accusing them of witchcraft so he can purchase their lands after their executions. A crucible is a container made of a substance that can resist great heat ; a crucible is also defined as a severe test.Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" is clearly a representation of the true meaning of tragedy.

John Proctor was, in fact, the medium, the tool, of which Miller utilized to. -Arthur Miller says that tragedy is "the consequence a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly." -This means it is not simply a human being failing.

Tragedy in the Modern Age. When Arthur Miller published The Crucible in the early s, he simply outdid the historians at their own game" (22). This lesson plan's goal is to examine the ways in which Miller interpreted the facts of the witch trials and successfully dramatized them.

Tragedy, then, is the consequence of a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly. In the sense of having been initiated by the hero himself, the tale always reveals what has been called his "tragic flaw," a failing that is not peculiar to grand or elevated characters.

Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ is clearly a representation of the true meaning of tragedy. John Proctor was, in fact, the medium, the tool, of which Miller utilized to convey a universal depiction of tragedy.

The true meaning of tragedy in the crucible by arthur miller

Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' is plainly a representation of the genuine importance of catastrophe. John Proctor was, truth be told, the medium, the instrument, of which Miller used to pass on an all inclusive delineation of catastrophe.

Tragedy And The Common Man Summary