Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Crucible
- When Written: 1950-52
- When Published: 1953
- Literary Period: Realist Drama
- Genre: Tragic Drama
- Setting: Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, when it was a Puritan colony
- Climax: The Crucible has an odd structure, in which each of the four acts ends on a climax. Act I: the girls scream out the names of witches. Act II: Proctor vows he will confront Abigail. Act III: Proctor reveals his adultery with Abigail, and Elizabeth Proctor lies. Act IV: Proctor rips up his confession.
- Antagonist: Abigail Williams
The Real Salem Witch Trials. In his depiction of the witch trials, Miller took many major departures from fact. For instance, John Proctor was nearly 60 and Abigail Williams only 11 at the time of the witch trials. Any affair between the two is highly unlikely, to say the least. Miller was always open about the liberties he took with history, saying that he was writing "a fictional story about an important theme."
Some Like it Hot. Arthur Miller was not a star the way writers are stars today. He was much, much bigger than that. After he wrote Death of a Salesman, he was a tremendous national sensation. In fact, he was such a big star that he married Marilyn Monroe. The couple married in 1956, and stayed together until 1961.