Some will say that tragedy is in this age rarely written, because it is somehow above us or we are below it. It could be attributed to the lack of hero's in this day and age, but men such as Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, Death of A Salesman, and A View for a Bridge, will argue that the traditional view of the tragic hero being in a seat of great power is not necessary. The Aristotelian view of a hero who is great in fame is challenged in Millers famous essay, Tragedy and the Common Man, and then proven wrong in Millers controversial play The Crucible.
Tragedy, as stated by Aristotle is an imitation, not of men, but of action and life, of happiness and misery, that is serious, complete and encompasses language which is pleasant at different places. Miller had added on to this definition by saying that tragedy is "the consequence of a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly." Aristotle also states that the aim of tragedy is to excite pity and fear, which are the distinctive marks of a tragedy. Aristotle also said that plot should be simple rather than complex and should have, however rudimentary this may seem, a beginning, middle, and an end. All of this so far Miller agrees with for the most part and conforms with when writing The Crucible. The play starts out with the discovery of witchcraft by Parris. Nothing came prior to the discovery and naturally the story will follow. Throughout the play the actions are "simple" because the change of fortune "comes without a reversal or recognition scene." In the play each action which is preformed is followed by another, which was caused by the preceding action. For example Elizabeth's name is mentioned in court. Mary Warren makes a poppet for Elizabeth and gives it to her the very same night that the women are rounded up for suspicion of witchcraft. It was the poppet which caused her to be arrested so; her arrest was because of Mary Warren making the poppet.