The Crucible Essay, Research Paper
It had been a few years since I had last attended to play. I had just seen the movie version of The Crucible and was incredibly excited about getting a chance to watch a theatrical presentation of it. When I first heard that I’d get the chance to see it I was very excited that I could hardly wait. I must say, however, it was well worth the wait. Everything and everybody inside the auditorium was much more professional than I had assumed. I figured that this play would be nothing more than college students attempting a performance of a very famous play. I could not have been more wrong. From the ushers, to the performers, this play had every making of one on Broadway. I can honestly say, that I enjoyed this performance more than the last play I saw, Cats, which I did see on Broadway, not too long ago. This performance was truly remarkable nudges because of the actors and people behind the stage, because it exceeded all my expectations.
The behavior of all the personnel involved in this play was very professional. Through my studies class, I have come to realize how many people it takes to put on a production. Every person I came into contact with was very friendly and very helpful as well as very knowledgeable about what they were doing. The people working the box office were very helpful and informative and I was purchasing my ticket. They pointed me to all the seats that were open on the computer monitor. They also went beyond that, they showed me where to sit so that I would have the best view in the house. It was almost going beyond the call of duty. Upon arriving at the auditorium, I showed my ticket to the doorman and was allowed to enter inside. I was a little late so an usher assisted me to my seat and gave me the necessary information to verify my attendance. The usher was also very friendly while he showed me to my seat. During the course of the play, but to note that the ushers remain by the doors in case anybody needed assistance. The audience in the theater acted and behaved exactly as would have been expected. I believe that as a whole, the audience became attached to the play and sat on the edge of the seats. They clap of those necessary, and they laughed on those necessary. It was a typical audience. And at the end of the play, they applauded with a standing ovation.
The action of the play was much like I remembered when I watched the movie a couple years back. Set in 17th-century Massachusetts, The Crucible, centers on the Salem witch hysteria. The trouble begins when a group of girls joined together in the forest for innocent fun. However, the Reverend of the town discovers the frolicking one night. He does not think much of it, until two of the girls who are in the forest dancing cannot wake up one morning. The town members determine that it was witchcraft which is kept the girls in their beds all this time. The girls are all questioned and told that if any of them say who summoned the devil into the forest they can all be saved. Before long the girls implicate each other as well as many of the other townspeople. Many arrests are made as word of the witchcraft spreads. People are put on trial and told that they confess they can be saved. Many people are condemned and faced with this horrible situation. In the end three of the main characters are hung because other moral obligations to God, that they cannot confess to witchcraft.
Of all the characters in this play, only two of them strike me as being worthy of praise. I like these two men because they hold their own beliefs and morals, and not fall into the popular beliefs. Judge Danforth is very respectable because of his authority. Although he condemned many innocent people to death, he remains one of my favorite characters in this play because he held true to his beliefs. Many people were hanged to just to prove that his word was authoritative even though it was wrong. The judge?s stern voice, and stern movements related to his thoughts deeply. Another character whom I found that I respected was Reverend John Hale. I like this Reverend because he came to the realization that he was wrong during the ending acts of the play. Unlike the Judge, he changed not because of popular believe, but more because of his moral instability. I gained respect for them when he tried to convince all the condemned to confess because I of the beliefs that he came to realize; life is more important than anything else. Still yet another man whom I gained the up most of respect for, is John Proctor. He refuses to admit to being a witch even in the face of death. However, he decides that he does not want to die such a useless death and plans to make a false confession. Eventually he made the confession, but he retracts this confession upon hearing that it had been made public and hung above the church door. But he does this to preserve his friends names, into die with a good name himself. Any man can respect this behavior. Death before giving up one’s honor, exemplifies a man from a boy.
The actors worked as well in this play as any I have ever seen. Although it was still a play, it merely had a movie theater atmosphere. I found that the sound in the auditorium was magnificent. Every word spoken I could hear with great accuracy and clarity. The comparisons between the play in the movie or very similar and can be seen in the way that the actors worked together. I was never lost any point in this play. The actors and actresses kept the play flowing as smoothly as a piece of ice. Throughout the transition from set to set, the actors remained in tow and never skipped a beat. Although this play with was lengthy, they ended in an as upbeat tone as when they began.
The scenery supporting the story wasn’t supreme quality, but it was good enough to explain what was happening in the story. I was still impressed with the quality even though it was obviously of a small budget. The costumes worn by the characters, were far more impressive than I had imagined they would be. The costume designer out did himself when he came to putting the characters into their chronological time setting. Even though Puritan dress is as simple as can be, the simpleness of the costumes made them. They did not try to be too fancy, yet they were just fancy enough to tell the story the way should be told. The overall scenery in costumes was precisely accurate, thus led to the precise telling of the story.
The ideas in the play dig deeper than the time period they are told in. The problems with witchcraft still holds true today, even though it is hidden more by today’s society. Many people in today’s world are proud to claim that they are devil worshipers. I personally did not believe in it, and find it to be very wrong. But society accepts it, for what it is worth. People, as a whole, very much differently than they did back then. Any person in today’s culture can openly say that they are a witch without feeling any worries of being arrested, outcasted, or even scolded. Therefore, the ideas in this play can almost be more relevant to today than two-hundred years ago. However it is still different. The question is: if the same repercussions that existed back then still existed in today’s world, would people still be as open to admit that they are involved in witchcraft? Or would they simply be in hiding like they were in the times of the Salem witchcraft trials?
Overall, I found my first play at this university to be a treat. I am looking forward my next play that I am able to go see regardless of whether it is an assignment or not. The Crucible was especially enjoyable to see, because of its historical significance. Witchcraft two hundred years ago played an important part in this country, and the way it’s judicial system came to be where it is today. The Crucible, even though it is factual, it is based on truthful information, which is important. The idea behind the teaching of history, is to teach it so that it will not repeat itself. Arthur Miller’s play will remain in history as one of the greatest historical plays ever written.