By Oscar Wilde

Wilde's dramatic masterpiece set in London. some of the issues of An excellent Husband have been motivated through the placement Oscar Wilde chanced on himself in throughout the early 1890s.

“Sooner or later we will all need to pay for what we do. yet nobody could be totally judged by means of their past.”

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For the fact is that John Proctor’s son was tortured. ” The effect on the play of including this detail would have been to transform Proctor’s motivation and diminish the significance of the sexual guilt that disables him. Historically, John Proctor did not immediately intervene on learning of the trials and does not do so in the play. The historical account offers no explanation. ” The guilt derives from his adultery; the action becomes his decision to expose Abigail. In his original plan Miller toyed with making Proctor a leader of the anti-Parris faction, who backtracks on that role and equivocates in his dealings with Hale.

It is still impossible for man to organize his social life without repressions, and the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom. The witch-hunt was not, however, a mere repression. It was also, and as importantly, a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusations against the victims. ” Of course it was her spirit only, but his satisfaction at confessing himself was no lighter than if it had been Martha herself.

What is at stake in The Crucible is the survival of Salem-which is to say, the survival of a sense of community. On a literal level the village ceased to operate. The trials took precedence over all other activities. They took the farmer from his field and his wife from the milk shed. In the screenplay for the film version Miller has the camera observe the depredations of the countryside: unharvested crops, untended animals, houses in disrepair. But, more fundamentally than this, Miller is concerned with the breaking of the social contract that binds a community together, as love and mutual respect bind individuals.

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An Ideal Husband (Plays by Oscar Wilde) by Oscar Wilde
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