The Crucible is my favorite play.
Written by Arthur Miller in 1952, The Crucible was based on the mass hysteria sh*ts that overwhelmed so many people in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch trials in 1692.
Take it away Brothers Gibb,
"And the lights all went down in Ma-ssa-chusetts
The day I left her standing on her own."
Where was I..oh yeah.
Miller’s allegorical work shone the harsh, bright, light of day on the hypocrisy and mass hysteria sh*ts that nutjob, arsehole, Joseph McCarthy spearheaded upon the American public. Many screen writers in Hollywood, including Miller, were singled out as purveyors of 'Komminizm' and as secret agents of the evil empire and Cold War adversary, the godless Ruskies.
If you recall, c'mon we all had to read The Crucible in High School, in an effort to save his wife the guilt ridden John Proctor confesses to his affair with the foul, teenage, temptress, WiNOna Ryder, I mean Abigail. He of course pays dearly for his 'roll in the hay' and ends up heading off to the gallows. According to Wikipedia, the actual trials resulted in the executions of 20 people (14 women, 6 men) and the imprisonment of between 175 and 200 people.
In 1976, Linnda Caporael claimed in Science Magazine that the hallucinations of the afflicted girls could possibly have been the result of ingesting rye bread that had been made with moldy grain. Ergot of Rye is a plant disease that is caused by a fungus that contains the chemicals used to synthesize ACID, Man!
You know, LSD.
"Convulsive ergotism causes nervous dysfunction, which Caporael claims are similar to many of the physical symptoms of those alleged to be afflicted by witchcraft."
Then again, so does convulsive egotism.
The same hysteria would happen today in many parts of the world where the supernatural is still feared such as Texas or Kansas. Unlike the scene in the Monty Python's Holy Grail, the Neo-Puritans would not be allowed to burn the witches..
even if the 'witch' weighed the same as a Duck..
or if someone came forward and claimed to have been turned into a Newt
... but “got better.”
In the Crucible Judge Danforth boldly declared,
"This is a sharp time, now, a precise time-we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.”
Unfortunately, we still seem to live in that dusky afternoon over 300 years later and most people on Earth are still convinced that supernatural entities wreak havoc on us pitiful mortals. As a matter of fact, I see an unnerving resemblance to Dubya's vitriolic call to arms to fight supernatural EVILISM in Iraqistan, Afghanistan, and Iranistan.
I say that the shining sun is NOT yet up and that mass hysteria sh*ts are still causing turmoil and human suffering.