2005-03-18

true or made up???

Hi everybody!

What facts described in "The Crucible" are true and what is just made up by Arthur Miller?
Perhaps this is a question that you also often asked yourself while reading the play. Well, I looked for some information concerning the historical inaccuracies in the play and I think the result is quite interesting:

Have you known for example that Betty Parris' mother was not dead in 1692?
She died in 1696, four years after the events.
The Parris family also included two other children - an older brother, Thomas, and a younger sister, Susannah - not just Betty and her relative Abigail, who was probably born around 1681.

Miller admits in the introduction to the play that he boosted Abigail Williams' age to 17 even though the real girl was only 11, but he never mentions that John Proctor was 60 and Elizabeth, 41, was his third wife. Proctor was not a farmer but a tavern keeper. Living with them was their daughter aged 15, their son who was 17, and John's 33-year-old son from his first marriage. Everyone in the family was eventually accused of witchcraft. Elizabeth Proctor was indeed pregnant, during the trial, and did have a temporary stay of execution after convicted, which ultimately spared her life because it extended past the end of the period that the executions were taking place.
There never was any wild dancing rite in the woods led by Tituba, and certainly Rev. Parris never stumbled upon them. Some of the local girls had attempted to divine the occupations of their future husbands with an egg in a glass -- crystal-ball style.
The Putnam's daughter was not named Ruth, but Ann, like her mother, probably changed by Miller so the audience wouldn't confuse the mother and the daughter. In reality, the mother was referred to as "Ann Putnam Senior" and the daughter as "Ann Putnam Junior."
Enjoy your holidays, VICI

1 Kommentar:

rip hat gesagt…

Hi Vici,

Thanks a lot for this contribution. I think it's great that somebody wrote about some of the historical facts, and how Miller changed them. - The method of using half-truths from history in order to build a story that rings true in its entirety has a long tradition - William Shakespeare and Friedrich Schiller even twisted the historical facts a good deal more than Arthur Miller did.

Anyway, thank you for writing about it!

I wish you - and everybody else - happy Easter, and a relaxing rest of the holidays.