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“The Crucible”

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Introduction

"The Crucible" "The Crucible" was set in 1692 in and around the town of Salem, Massachusetts, USA. The Puritans were very strict in personal habits and morality, swearing, drunkenness and gambling would be punished. No sport, work or trade was allowed on Sundays. Plain clothes were to be worn; the use of wigs, decoration or cosmetics was forbidden. The inhabitants of Salem believed in the devil and thought that witchcraft should be hunted out. Many of the characters in the play are based on real people. The play can be seen as a general statement on the effects that fear and fanaticism can have on human beings individually and collectively. The excesses of McCarthyism were the phenomenon of the 1950s. When Miller wrote the play fear was as rife as in Salem. The accusations were of communism not witchcraft. Arthur Miller wrote the play because he was accused of being a communist; Miller attended meetings between communist writers. He was fined and given a suspended prison sentence. When he wrote the play, he focused on a series of true events, which took place in and around the town of Salem. ...read more.

Middle

Mary Warren, the servant of the house, returns from the court in Salem. When she returns she gives Elizabeth Proctor a poppet, which she had made earlier that day, she also presents Elizabeth with the news she was accused of witchcraft. Then there a dramatic couple of minutes and tension builds when Rev Hale arrives and examines John and Elizabeth. He asks John if he knows his Ten Commandments. When John forgets one of the Ten Commandments (the do not commit adultery one). Rev Hale then expects John of committing adultery, and we know John has committed adultery when he slept with Abigail Williams has done, and he begins to think John is not as religious as his wife. Then the tension in the act falls and there is a short moment of relaxation. But just as Rev Hale is about to leave, and do nothing of the incident, the police arrive and arrest Elizabeth because she was accused of witchcraft. This act ends with John Procter wrestling with Mary Warren because John Proctor is trying to get Mary Warren to accuse Abigail of witchery. In Act Three there is suspense and reversal. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the most tense scenes is in act two when there is tension between John and Elizabeth. The reason this scene is so dramatic is because the why the tension builds up. The tension and suspense starts when Hale arrives at the proctor's farmhouse. We see that John is nervous about the event from the start when he says nervously "We are not used to visitors after dark, but you're welcome here." The scenes tension starts to build up when Hale tell's the proctors that Rebecca has accused Elizabeth of witchery. He asks John if he knows his Ten Commandments. When John forgets one of the Ten Commandments (the do not commit adultery one). Rev Hale then expects John of committing adultery, and we know John has committed adultery when he slept with Abigail Williams has done, and he begins to think John is not as religious as his wife. Then the tension in the act falls and there is a short moment of relaxation. But just as Rev Hale is about to leave, and do nothing of the incident, the police arrive and arrest Elizabeth because she was accused of witchcraft (the tension then rises). Terry Thornhill ...read more.

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