Critical Insights: The Crucible

This volume is part of the Critical Insights series from Salem Press which focuses on important texts and issues in literature. There are two introductory essays: one discusses the influence of The Crucible in the last six decades and one provides a short biography of the author Arthur Miller. The next section, Critical Contexts, contains four essays that explore various topics related to the content of the text: primogeniture, skepticism and tragedy, the 1996 film version, and recent scholarship. The Critical Readings section has twelve essays on issues such as scapegoats, satanism, communism, Marxism, postwar aesthetics, post World-War II dystopian writings, anti-Communist criticism, reviews of the 1996 film, the 2016 Broadway production, non-Broadway stagings, and audio readings of the book. Resources included at the back of the book include a chronology of the author's life, other works by the author, and an extensive bibliography. A concise presentation of opinion and scholarship on this important text.

The most valuable aspect of this volume of Critical Insights: The Crucible by Arthur Miller is the diversity of critical opinion contained within its pages. This is not a book that lionizes the playwright. Instead, the essays selected seemingly debate one another, as good scholarship should do-and we are all the wiser for it. This collection of critical essays is marvelous and, surprisingly, quite the page-turner. Each analysis reminds the reader why The Crucible is a classic of the theater and a play that will be studied and performed for generations to come.
- The Arthur Miller Journal