The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller
The Crucible is a powerful indictment of McCarthyism and the ‘frontier mentality’ of Cold War America, published in Penguin Modern Classics.
Arthur Miller’s classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 – ‘one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history’ – and the American anti-communist purges led by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s. The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations.
If you enjoyed The Crucible, you might like Miller’s Death of a Salesman, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
‘One of a handful of great plays that will both survive the twentieth century and bear witness to it’
John Peter, Sunday Times