As Arthur Miller states in his autobiography, 1 The Crucible has become his most frequently produced play. This great success of a conventional drama can certainly not be explained without regard to its political message. When the play was first performed in 1953, its audiences were quick to recognize the connections between the witch craze in 17th century Massachusetts and the American anti-communist hysteria of their own time. Like any literary text, The Crucible reflects the conditions under which it was produced, and Miller himself says that he could not have written it at any other time.2 Since in this case parallels between the events in both times are extremely striking, it seems necessary for the understanding and interpretation of the play to explain its dual historical context. At the same time, it would be wrong to interpret Milleras drama against this background only. Or, as Reitz puts it: aThe Crucible ist kein SchlA¼sseldrama, das auf die vordergrA¼ndige AktualitAct von Wiedererkennungseffekten setzt und zu diesem Zweck AnhAcnger und Gegner McCarthys als Puritaner (...) kostA¼mierta.3 Miklos Trocsanyi argues similarly, pointing out that Miller was glad, when in the contemporary criticism (...) less and less mention was made of and parallel drawn between the witchcraft hysteria and McCarthyism. It meant that the deeper message was more and more appreciated.4 Finding out about this adeeper messagea is what the analysis of the dual historical context aims at. Therefore this research paper will, after explaining the historical circumstances of both the Salem witch hunt and the American anticommunism under McCarthy, focus on parallel phenomena underlying the events in both times. This comparison, which will be made from a psychological point of view, is intended to reveal why Milleras play ais presently being approached more and more frequently as a cultural and historical study rather than a political allegorya.5Introduction. As Arthur Miller states in his autobiography, 1 The Crucible has become his most frequently produced play. ... Crucible reflects the conditions under which it was produced, and Miller himself says that he could not have written it atanbsp;...
|Title||:||The Dual Historical Context of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"|
|Publisher||:||GRIN Verlag - 2004-02-02|