The Crucible and 20th Century American Drama


Students will write write argumentative essay that makes a case for or against the causes of the central conflict in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible.

Unit Essential Questions:

1. What is “the truth”? How does “the truth” shape our identity and our relationship to power?

2.  Does Arthur Miller’s use of dialogue depict the flaws of the modern tragic hero?

3. What is the impact of larger social forces on freedom and private lives according to Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible?


Tragedy, tragic flaw, tragic hero, foil, motifs, theme(s), Archetypes

OBJECTIVE 1: Philosophical & Historical ContextMarilynMiller

I.  Pre-Reading:  Background video on Arthur Miller

II. Reading: McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials

III. Post-Reading: Compare the historical context and setting of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible by completing Double Circle Map.

OBJECTIVE 3: Analyze archetypes and motifs in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.  

I.  Pre-Reading: Arthur Miller Quote Analysis

II.  Reading: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

III. Post Reading:Tragedy and the Common Man by Arthur Miller & TIMED WRITE ESSAY

OBJECTIVE 4: Write Speeches Responding to Themes 

I.  Pre-Writing: Quote performance

II.  Writing: Group Play Adaptation Assignment

III. Performance: Performance Rubric