The Theater: The Ethos of Courage



The name of every virtue at its apex is courage.

—Winston Churchill

This is Arthur Miller's play about courage. In quality, it ranks second only to his finest play, Death of a Salesman, a drama concerned with the lack of courage. Both plays stress the cost of personal integrity, the price one pays for having it, and for losing it.

In plot and action The Crucible revolves around the trials for witchcraft in 17th century Salem. When first produced in 1953, it was lauded as an attack on the Communist witch hunts of Joe McCarthy. We can see in retrospect that...

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