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A comprehensive exploration of the historical and political context that sits behind Arthur Miller's play, 'The Crucible'. Through commentary by Miller, voiceover and original newsreel clips, Miller explores the motivation for writing the play - an emotional response to the situation that was developing in the USA. This includes an account of his own personal involvement in the anti-communist fervour that was quickly turning into a witch hunt. The scale of the persecution and the strength of feeling is illustrated, including Miller's own sense of desperation and outrage about the treatment of people. He refers to Salem and the 1692 witch trials and the part this played in his writing of 'The Crucible'.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
28 January 2003

Classroom Ideas

Prior to reading or watching 'The Crucible', students could be asked to bullet point the key ideas that influenced Miller which led to 'The Crucible' being written. After reading the book, this clip could be revisited and students could be asked to reflect on how much this helped their understanding of the play.

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