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ARTHUR MILLERS THE CRUCIBLE FACT FICTION OR PICKY PICKY PICKY BY MARGO BURNS NEW CONTENT ADDED 020104 A NOTE ON THE HISTORICAL ACCURACY OF THIS PLAY by Arthur Miller This play is not history in the sense in which the word is used by the academic historian Dramatic purposes have sometimes required many characters to be fused into one the number of girls involved in the crying out has been reduced Abigails age has been raised while there were several judges of almost equal authority I have symbolized them all in Hathorne and Danforth However I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history The fate of each character is exactly that of his historical model and there is no one in the drama who did not play a similar-and in some cases exactly the same-role in history As for the characters of the persons little is known about most of them except what may be surmised from a few letters the trial record certain broadsides written at the time and references to their conduct in sources of varying reliability They may therefore be taken as creations of my own drawn to the best of my ability in conformity with their known behavior except as indicated in the commentary I have written for this text Because Ive been working with the materials of the Salem Witch Trails of 1692 for so long as an academic historian many people have asked me if Ive seen the play or film The Crucible and what I think of it Miller created works of art inspired by the actual events for the artisticpolitical purposes Miller intended first produced on Broadway on January 22 1953 it was in response to the panic caused by irrational fear of Communism during the Cold War which resulted in the hearings by the House Committee on Unamerican
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