Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Jeihouni, M., Hooti, N.
“Because it is my name!”: Miller, Proctor, and Parrhesia in The Crucible
(2018) Orbis Litterarum, 73 (2), pp. 103-126.

DOI: 10.1111/oli.12158

Abstract
This article offers a Foucauldian reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Employing Foucault’s concept of parrhesia, we argue that John Proctor holds truth-telling as a moral virtue and accordingly his behavior qualifies as parrhesiastic based on the five elements Foucault outlines for parrhesia: frankness, truth, danger, criticism, and duty. First we shall provide a thorough account of the concept in Foucault’s work. Second, and on the basis of that account, we shall explore the relations of power in Miller’s play, arguing that Proctor deconstructs the self-celebrating dogmatism of his Puritan context with a razor-sharp honesty. We shall conclude that Proctor meets his death because of his parrhesiastic courage. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Author Keywords
Foucault; Miller; parrhesia; Proctor; The Crucible

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