thumbnail of Listen America; Arthur Miller
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
The University of North Carolina presents listen America directed by John Clayton and produced by Johnny Lee for the University of North Carolina communication center Erwin director to do this series we went to 13 of the top authors of this country and asked them if there was something they would like to say at this time to the radio audiences of America. We told them that they could write it up as they wanted to play a dialogue a talk. One of these writers was Arthur Miller. Mr. Miller agreed to do this and sent us a script written around the material in his play The Crucible dealing with the strength of people as uncommon as the average man. There was a jail in Salem Massachusetts where the witches were kept. There were five people in the jail and outside their window swung the bodies of two others already hanged in a room nearby the judges waited anxious for at least one prisoner to confess and so
establish in doubting minds the guilt of the scores who had already been condemned. They waited for one of the five to break. Giles Corey are you there in the cell. That NBC writing what do you write. It will be clear before long that it is no confession. Then one of the others one of your wife Martha will she confessed Giles ask. She's asleep. Wake her. Martha Martha Corey wake up. Will you confess. And I will thank you. Who else is there. Rebecca are you there. Yes I'm a week. Rebecca I understand you are the strongest of all. I
hope I'm strong enough. Who is not ruining their lives at the life of John Proctor. They are a young couple in the other two prisoners in this jail. The happy couple were they. He saw code I do not know the reason but they love each other very much I would say. Will they confess it is weaker than his wife. I don't know but if he does it is a loss. What time is it Rebecca. It is late night late night in Salem. Joy. Hours is that who knows your back and maybe wonder and I rode all night. And I suppose your master is imaging somewhere in the things they sound like bursting. And and the weeds will grow. What do you write. But I must
go to sleep Rebecca like the other two who were hanging outside the window yet I have not looked. I see. I never read any gospel that witches are to hang two days and feed the birds. It's a new gospel they be writing bloody book of Salem. Did you ever hear said Rebecca that they took the name for Salem from the Hebrew. Is that true. I had it from my father was the word Jaalam signifying peace. It's bloody in that word. They surely thought the proper rock to build your bet on. Nothing ever grows on that rock nor ever will they demand will every day. It's a clear night the moon is bright this summer yet there are blows all winter when will they never
burn. I think not. Now you even hear the bones will rattle over the bay forever. Make your peace woman. I think they'll be looking for you one of these nights. Why do you speak of me and not yourself. I will not be hiring Rebecca. Try Surely you're not writing your confession gyros to that woman Rebecca she groans Oh my. If this comforts me you listen to the woman Rebecca. What is it how you stick your weeping in your sleep. I praised your he is sleeping there is there new means nothing. Have they buried the bodies of the others yet. Nor her. Back. Rebecca.
What shall I teach you him with child Rebecca. Oh great glory be to God. If you're a child you cannot be hanged. The marshal tell them are still saying nothing. I think my husband must not know it yet not know it. That your life is. I think he will give them a confession once he knows I'm no good man. He'd not confess such a lovely Dhani it in the court by and retracted it soon enough. For shame only when he saw I would not follow him back. I cannot yet believe that a mentor that are so heart truly what think you confessed liars out a woman with child will walk out of here alive you must discover yourself to the court at once I think perhaps require you to hang in there. I did not tell him then. Perhaps they only mean to terrify us with those too outside the
window. John confessed Rebecca and by some Providence the jails are opened and even one man or woman walk out that didn't live here blow or far with contempt upon itself until modern house is held forever. I fear to tell and this I am five weeks grinding my wits. I want to keep his brightness repack. I know now what venom comes on him when he despises himself and he will he will if you confess and I will have only hatred from him in my life. House drains it is a man do such villainy and yet he cannot smile without he would be on roofs. That's great. Brightness in it dies it dies. Therefore I think I will keep secret yet. And when we're home
again I'll tell him of the child Giles thinks we will be taken to her tonight or soon. No they cannot. We will all walk upright from this place and when we are home Elizabeth let me call the marshal discover your child to the cold Not yet not yet. It's a great yarn surely. I cannot see him break. Back. Back. Why does he seem. Am I cool. Can my heart breaks for a lot of them. He calls me to wake my wife and ask her how many boo Giles home do you think of blue snow. They may think are brutes. I had a scare myself who should answer me anymore. Brain awake wake up.
Who's that. Giles wants a word with you. Yeah aisles. Why what's Giles to me. I thought you'd said leave now. I am drawing out my will and testament. Martha I think you did tell me how many books you know will get you awakened awake. For God's sake will you never stop jabbering each other. Why is everyone awake. My husband is making his way to him with his massive knowledge of the law. How many you draw will Giles drew in my will. Then why do I not drama and I thought then that hang for witchcraft must forfeit property at auction. Isn't that true it is. Do you have three pair of boots or two. Daft you are deaf to my husband daft Rebecca I have my wits and I pray Y
and Thomas but none will have my boots and yours too. When he buys you'll fall in the auction can not be no option of my ever not be hanging for a wizard. Hang it I know what's to what's to keep you from hanging. Giants the law I am scoffed at all my life for learnin of the law. But now you will see the beauty when you know it. Will you tell me how many boots you have Martha I have to pay. Giles Corey's wives never had law that I have my wife my child. Might I make a will. No it's too late for you. You're for the rope John. You see it follows so first time cited in contempt of the court then I am indicted by the court but in neither case have I made any reply. In the Word of the law I stand mute and stand in mute a man cannot be
tried without a man be tried he cannot be sentenced without a sentence. You cannot hang all you see hanging. Then what will they do with you. It is profits nothing to speak of it. Mother did you not have a brown coated time long ago round coat. I've not had a brown coat since I married you. God shriller day. Be there no shred of a left eye. If the dog still sleeps on it shred of brown coat that the dog sleeps on. Giles Why did you not tell us this. We might have helped ourselves. No you're better off to hang. There's a snatch of a chance of heaven for you. What does that signify. Giles. What does that signify. It signifies the paying of my debts.
You will be paid for the silly run into my mouth and brought you here. I don't fathom that you were. I. Good evening to you Marsha we learned your boys outside the party. I think you will where they will have two pounds for bringing them. There's a plan for you. I'm not breaking the regulations for nothing. Where and out the bones of my feet. I never thought who we should have such a great experience. Two pounds we're bringing them to the jail I paid the midwife less to bring them into the womb you want your sons are due you will not. So here we. Are outside the plant. Be quick now. Giles why you have a voice. Can you reach up your hand one of your own. There's my will and testament.
Take it hear me. I would die soon now you hear. Do you hear. Now mark this and I've been dying for a wizard but Christian in by law permitted to discover my property in good order. You hear the land is all charted and the cattle said down head for it Sammy will go now with George and Daniel and occupy my house. Take that document in your guns and have someone come along what auction you may by law fire on him for trespass and I understood now I will not be dying a wizard. How would you go then father. Never you mind. Go by law. Work. Go to God for us. Believe no evil of us. And so long as you live. See to it that justice finds them that.
If you drink in a year well my boys look to God. God love God and God good argument going to you does not tarry here. Are you daft. How will you die if not for it. So drink yourself drunk or you'll be helping me. And it's one thing you will do without I have to pay you for it. I have a busy morning there. They tell me this is your last night last. You are all marked to hang before the morning. You know this afternoon you were excommunicated from the church. Not so I. The way is clear now to Hank you judge here and some others are waiting now beyond this door. The town is summoned. There are
people already gathered round the Hanging Rock. Go join judge half on to see what work lies ahead for him. Now wait one moment while I wait. Elizabeth come over here with me. Yes John. Elizabeth. You cannot make Rebecca any more. No mother's goodness either you know. Oh they care nothing for this world but you must. Your children are babies yet they cannot wonder the woods like foxes. You promised they'd never dare home no one. You see they will now tell you and you will not lie and pretend. I am pregnant. Great God she told him. All those old the Lord be thanked. Well I would tell him to quote tell Judge Hartmann that Elizabeth is with child and cannot
be hanged. How do you believe. It's a busy morning for the likes of me. Elizabeth Elizabeth I'm all joy joy all marvelous having. Thank you thank you. I am all joy joy. I was straight. God moves. I finally just and even my good deeds I do a little work at play. I am I am overjoyed. It is a teaching a teaching on me I thought I must make you live to live but God counts you so in common good he let you live in your saintliness to what will you do John. What can I do I will do as fits me. Corruption cannot climb a bit like a saint. Let me back I do it but most of what they are good enough to
hang Not I. John John you cannot confess the world will think they hang true which is and call them godly judge and so they are. They speak some goodness in them that open evil up and they have done that they have found it. John do it your way but if you think after this to call you an honest man you mistake yourself. This breaks your claim to heaven know it you cannot dream that you will say what you want only some we got it lacked a little good news and yet and good and upright far between the weak man and the evil rotten there can be no crack of light. You say it would be fraud to pretend to die Whitely when you know how wicked you are. But I may say there's too much profit in that state to call it on Hist. You go and make a stairway of your sins for public wickedness to mount on and rule the world. Why charge if you must be faithful to your soul.
Find the good in it and cling to that. It is no part of goodness to be true only to the evil in us. No God is not so simple. We are exactly what we do and what you do with people. You cannot I think yet you are too good for it. That's true but not good enough to hang in there is the sum of it. Mr hardon to have let you come in and bring your ink and paper with you. Well just thought I have a life. I'll give it for my life. No we both have no allies but solemn confessions and the names of all your accomplices accomplices judge I everyone.
My wife will be examined. Will she not and if she is found with child she will be spared until she's delivered. Good then she'll live till she's old for you'll be rid of Salem as you are not from Andover I think not. Are you ready. And you are the people. What have you. Giles Carre rise by the courts. Consent I bid you plead now we may wait no longer. Now what say Are you innocent or guilty of the high crime of witchcraft as a den I do now I stand mute. I ask you twice as the law provides where you plead indictment I stand mute in law then I ask you this final time I didn't form you now on the penalty to refusal to plead my duty ones I pronounce that you will be stretched upon the ground right weights of stone placed upon your chest stone on stone until you answer to the indictment the court be finally pressed out of your body. Now this third time I ask you where you speak.
Dr. Oz Carre I stand mute as he is clearly so excited Mr. Karr I you know I know it and it be murder to do you know that the law cannot commit this piece USAID will go to hell for I don't meet you in the fire. John Oh give me a woman Hi who's You cannot I am sorry for it that I brought you here. So we're led to war and she will be tired before it's done. Do what you must we like to judge Catherine. He will never speak Mr ha thought he will certainly speak and I bid you all look under see it come to the window. Stop there Mr. Willard that will
do. Look on there is good improvement for you in this site. Now you will see a step and he will open it up. Come look and I say man he will never speak. Lay on Mr. Willard and stop when he begins to speak. I'm going to nurse I bid you watch this if you cannot stomach this believe me. Hanging's worse. Well I say stop it. Well not be silent John Proctor lay on let on what do you lay on the lead to stop. Here it is late for stopping John Proctor. Yes. What does Dr. say well I'd. Heard him call what does he say. Your call no more. Devils are stupid he confessed what did he say I heard a cry. Whoa whoa wait.
Wait I think we need no further proof he were no natural man. More weight indeed. Will you confess yourself now I want to call it. I used to go in and then you will hang this hour Mr. Willard. Sit you down Mr. Proctor I will give you his confession. John Proctor When did you see the devil and in what place more weight. I raised my hand this business must be done before the light. When did you see the devil and what place in my house. Ninety times man juice shaped in a wind and afflicted Toshi lived in the cotton. Now what other accomplices Did you have accomplices. What other persons did the devil bring with him. You are good enough to call you what dog you are a dog and you are nuisance up where you discover yourself or will you not. Did you ever see Rebecca Nurse with the devil. You have so many that named
him which is why I must I must you you on have inside our heads you cannot stand with both. They think to die like saints. I like not to spoil their names. You sport with me if you have broken with the Devil you'd happily spoil their names. Confessions were to sort out their names. I see light in the sky Mr.. Elizabeth what would you have me do. Do you know I would have it. I want to live in John Madge sure. Giles wife has she confessed she will not. It is a packed tense Elizabeth got is I cannot manage a bit like a saint. It is a fraud I am not my honesty is broke Elizabeth I am no good man. Nothing spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before then yet you have not confessed till now that speaks of goodness in you. Bite only gave me a sign and
it is hard to give a lie to dogs. I would have your forgiveness Elizabeth if this is not for me to you know John. I do have you see some amnesty in it. Let them that never lied die now to keep their source. It is a pretense for me our vanity that will not blind god nor keep the children out of the wind. What say you child. It come to me that I should forgive you if you will not forgive yourself. It is not my soul John it is yours Elizabeth. Only be sure of this for I know it now. What ever you do it is a good man does it. A good man a good man doing it. I read my heart this three month John. I have sins of my own to count.
It needs a cold wind to prompt let you know if nothing better you should know me. I will not hear it I know you take my sins upon him. Oh I take my own my own. I counted myself so playing poorly made. No honest love could come to me. Suspicion kissed you when I did I never knew how I should say my love. It were cold how so I can say I never thought to hear it. Well I live that goodness. Who would ever call me good again. Will you open with us I will you not. They will die to keep their names white. I think I will keep mine. Then you are one with them. Why do you live half on why do you live. Are you one with them. So your mind if it must be that that I am one with them or one with you when there be no footing in between.
And if I mistake not the balance of my soul with God's help it will be one with them. Man. You will hang. You cannot. I can judge. And there is your first Marvel that I can. You have made your magic now. For now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with but white enough to keep it from such dogs. We're led to take military service. There's pleasure show and I now show a stony heart and sink them with it. Elizabeth nothing of it. Judgment. Wait hang them high over the. Weeks for weeks for corruption. There is only one person in Salem. Elizabeth. Wife of
John F.. Coming with time. He stands at the window and looks out as the ropes or not it. Looks out. As Giles wife and Rebecca take their places. And as her husband takes his place. He stands at the window and the new sun is pouring in upon her face. For the past half hour you've been listening to a program written by Arthur Miller. The series
is listen America directed by John Clayton and produced by Johnny Lee for the University of North Carolina communication center. Earl when director this series is produced on a grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the Educational Television and Radio Center. And in Mr. Miller's program where Les Casey George Brand holds Johnnie Lee Marion FITZSIMMONS Foster FITZSIMMONS Joseph Sharkey and Bob Thomas the harvest was a MACCALLUM lets in America as recorded in the studios of the department of radio television and motion pictures on the campus at Chapel Hill. This is the end AB Radio Network.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Listen America
Arthur Miller
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-2805259v).
Episode Description
This program features script by Arthur Miller based on his own play, "The Crucible."
Series Description
A series of 13 programs featuring the works of selected contemporary American authors.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Actor: Casey, Les
Actor: Fitzsimmons, Marian
Actor: Earle, Eileen
Director: Clayton, John S.
Performer: Kellum, Emily
Producer: Ehle, John, 1925-
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Speaker: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Writer: Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-50-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:45
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Listen America; Arthur Miller,” 1956-08-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “Listen America; Arthur Miller.” 1956-08-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: Listen America; Arthur Miller. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from