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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Use of Language

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller Use of Language Arthur Miller's use of language in this play ensures naturalistic acting on stage throughout the play, and that all the actions and events flow smoothly from scene to scene. In fact it could be said that it is even more important given that the play is based on a true story. He uses a writing style that makes for a very absorbing play which is very believable and realistic. His central subject matter was the hysteria and the witchhunts of the 'puritan christians' in the late 17th century in the New England region of what is now the United States of America, specifically Massachusetts. For the jewish Arthur Miller this may have been awkward in itself, although he tackles the subject superbly, for it was through the deft use of authentic 17th century New England english that he developed a play that although set ...read more.


For example he brings out the nefarious nature and treacherous disposition of Abigail and the other girls and also the gullibility of some of the judges, His style is easy to understand by the modern day reader and this is necessary in order to be successful as a contemporary play. While using the simple style, Miller does not take anything away from the suspense in the plot. The dialogues of his character are like actual speech, and are very naturalistic. His words are used expertly and do not include anything that is not necessary for making an exciting and enjoyable play. Many clever metaphorical, literary tools are employed, for example at one point in act one Abigail says that John "sweated like a stallion", (Abigail: "I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near! ...read more.


An example would be the use of the rather controversial term 'covenanted' - the modern form of which will be familiar to quite a few modern American readers as 'saved'. Other such fine examples abound, such as to 'break charity': to fall out of friendship, to 'plough on sunday': to break the fourth commandment, 'proof so immaculate': proof without any doubt, and so on. In summary then, Miller has produced a play that in spite of it's rather old fashioned setting translates to the modern day very well and possess still today very relevant and far-reaching themes about human nature. He achieves this through the use of characters who are not only very believable and convincing, but through language that is very lucid and convictive in spite of the seemingly antediluvian nature of the story and setting. ...read more.

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