The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller that was written and published in 1953. It is loosely based on facts about Salem witch trials that happened in 1692 and 1693. On the other hand, the play is believed to be an allegory on McCarthyism, the practice of accusing people without having enough evidence. Thus, both have striking resemblance, and the author wanted to show how helpless and doomed a person might be when unfairly accused by those in power (e.g. court, state, police).
Salem witch trial and allegory on McCarthyism are the two levels of this play’s interpretation (the explicit and the implicit ones). Those, who are not familiar with the context in which the play was written, will more likely not understand the implicit meaning of it. The play is a playwright’s reaction to events that took place during the McCarthy era in the first half of 1950s. A lot of Americans were accused of being communists, spreading communist propaganda, or being soviet spies. Very often such accusations were false, however it soon developed into mass hysteria, with many people becoming victims of such injustice. Arthur Miller saw similarities between McCarthyism and Salem witch trials which resulted in writing this play.