Theatricality, the Spectacle’s Veil and Allegory-in-Reverse in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
English studies p. 1- 11
Our analysis will radicalise the notion of frame, which has been used in the field of the humanities, especially in a semiotic sense but also as a replacement for the often-used term of “context”. Arthur Miller, for one, was framed by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. In response, Miller put his own point forward, the distance point—a point that organises perspective—of a theatrical play (The Crucible) whose power resides in the use of allegory against the political spectacle of its time. Theatre intervened in this case to confront the real life political theatre of the televised trials (a national spectacle) of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The historical narrative and the anecdote of the Salem processes of 1692 in the play simultaneously provide an appropriate metaphorical link and distance from the situation in Miller’s present to strengthen his frame at two different levels.