Elements of Literature Fifth Course
LE0 11-17.1
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
More About the Writer
American Dreaming
Arthur Miller wouldn’t sit still. His interviewer had to chase after him as well as keep up with Miller’s swift stream of thoughts. Find out what the playwright had to say about his work and his characters, and why he is so proud of The Crucible. Then, learn why Miller thinks great plays help to make us civilized.
Choices: Building Your Portfolio, page 889
Choices 4: Is It True?
If you are researching details of the actual Salem witchcraft trials, begin your work in Salem, Massachusetts. Travel through the events of 1692 with the help of an online chronology. Then, hike over to Salem’s Witch Trials Memorial and amble among the commemorative stones dedicated to the trials’ victims.
Choices 5: Naming Names
If you need more information about the 1950s Congressional hearings into “un-American activities,” visit the University of Pennsylvania. Learn how Hollywood took a big hit from Senator Joseph McCarthy, and how it tried to fight back. As you read, try to imagine why Arthur Miller called his writing of The Crucible “an act of desperation.”
Crossing the Curriculum: History
Voices from the Past
Now that you’ve read the dialogue Arthur Miller wrote, find out what Mary Warren, Rebecca Nurse, William Proctor, and others actually said at their trials. Visit the University of Virginia’s Danvers Archival Center to read haunting testimony in word-for-word transcripts of the Salem witchcraft trials.
You Stand Accused!
Let National Geographic whisk you back to seventeenth century Salem. Once there, you’ll be cast as an accused witch. How will you answer the charges? Who can you trust? Take the stand alongside your Salem friends and neighbors to find out if you can survive the trials.
Across the Web
If you’ve ever dreamed of hearing actors speak lines that spilled from your pen, get some play-writing advice from theatrical director Troy M. Hughes. Find out what it takes to create strong characters and why less is more when it comes to writing drama.
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