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A Close Focus On Act Iii of ‘the Crucible’ the Play, ‘the Crucible’.

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Introduction

A close focus on act III of 'The Crucible' The play, 'The crucible', shows how people react to mass hysteria caused by a group of people, as people did during the McCarthy hearings in the 1950's. The "House un-American activities committee" searched for communist sympathisers because they were felt to be a threat to the state. Many Americans were wrongly accused of being communist sympathisers and were convicted and sentenced without any real evidence of them having committed a crime. Mere suspicion was classed as evidence. And like the during the witch hunts, anyone who spoke out was accused which made defending yourself a death wish. This is how McCarthyism was linked with the witch-hunts that had taken place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The title of the play describes exactly what was happening at the time of the witch-hunts. A crucible is a container in which metals are heated to extracted the pure element from impurities, and crucible is another word for a cauldron that witches use to brew their magic potions in. So the word 'crucible' could metaphorically be used to explain how the activities in Salem were like a potion brewing in a cauldron with the potion being 'mixed' to separate the witches (impurities) ...read more.

Middle

His excuses was that he didn't want his child being baptized by Parris and he didn't really want to attend his services as he had plenty of work to be doing on the farm. Hale asks John and Elizabeth to repeat their commandments, Elizabeth repeats each one of them correctly. But John forgets one- Thou must not commit adultery. John tries to convince Hale that the girl's story is all just pretence to cover up the activities that happened in the woods. Hale begins to realise that he may be fooled by the innocence of the girl's youth. Giles Corey and Francis Nurse's wives are the next to be arrested. Next is Elizabeth. Cheever goes to arrest Elizabeth and is ordered to search her home for poppets. He asks Elizabeth if she has ever kept any, she replies with 'not since I was a girl'. Cheever then sees the one that Mary had made for her. Elizabeth explains to him that Mary had only given it to her that day and she had made it whilst she was bored in court. The Proctors weren't aware that Abigail had a needle into her stomach. Cheever lifted the clothes on the poppet to reveal its body. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that Abigail and Proctor were both depending on Elizabeth's answer to prove one of them to be a liar. As Danforth's questions begin to get closer to the truth, the camera gets closer to Elizabeth's face so that when Danforth asks 'To your knowledge has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery?' the camera is showing only Elizabeth's startled face. After moment's hesitation, she faintly answers 'No, sir.' The camera then zooms out to show Abigail and Proctor with Elizabeth still in the middle until she is taken away. Individual shots, especially close-ups, build intensity. The setting in the courtroom created an excellent atmosphere, it was dark and gloomy with rays of sun entering the dull room from a small window. The atmosphere between the people was just as dark and depressing as the courtroom itself, with the ray of light perhaps trying to resemble the small amount of truth, honesty and dignity left in the village. Although I did enjoy reading the book, I much prefer the film because it makes the story line much clearer and makes it more exciting and interesting by using camera shots and setting to add more interest to the play and to make it more appealable to others. The story is a shocking insight into history; It's hard to believe that it is actually a true story. ...read more.

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