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A comparison between The Crucible and our production of an extract from Pygmalion

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Introduction

A comparison between The Crucible and our production of an extract from Pygmalion We performed an extract from the play Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw, which is about a 'draggle tailed guttersnipe' of a woman, Eliza, who receives elocution lessons from a professor, Mr. Higgins, and metamorphoses into a Lady; they consequently fall in love. It is set in the late nineteenth century, during the Victorian era, in London. We also read The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller, about a town hysterically overcome by accusations of witchcraft, set in Salem on the East coast of America in the late seventeenth century. One of the major differences between the two plays is the period in which they are set (Pygmalion is set in the early twentieth century, The Crucible in the Seventeenth). The different periods in which the plays are set mean that the characters have different beliefs and traditions in accordance to the times. ...read more.

Middle

It is a serious drama which will continue to have social and political resonances in any era. The two plays therefore differ greatly in terms of genre. Miller's diction is formal and concise; the dialogue of The Crucible has a quality that could not easily be achieved in a naturalistic play of the present time. The characters are given a certain dignity and distance by quaint turns of phrase and peculiarities of grammar. The use of Mister as a form of address and 'Goody' as a title suggests a relationship strangely remote; and such phrases such as 'Cain were an upright man', 'there be no road between', 'I am thirty-three time in court in my life', a dialect used by judge as well as peasant, draw attention to another age and environment than ours. For people whose reading material was confined to the bible, it seems natural that their language should be dense in metaphor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pearce and the character of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. Goody Proctor piously forgives her husband John for his adultery; she is aware of his indiscretions but chooses to put it behind her. This is done with great dignity not unlike the unfaltering stoicism Mrs. Pearce exhibits. They both appear to display religious reservedness and Christian charity, shown by Goody Proctor's forgiveness of her husband, and by Mrs. Pearce's softening when becoming aware of Eliza's family situation along with their general attitudes. Mrs. Pearce is a woman in her late fifties, whereas Elizabeth is a mother of young children, and is aged around thirty or so; there is a wide age gap between the two characters. In conclusion, The Crucible and Pygmalion are both very realistic plays, but with different genres; the characters exhibit similar repressed morals and attitudes towards women, although The Crucible, owing to the much earlier time period in which it is set, takes these to extremes. Definite similarities are apparent between the character of Mrs Pearce and that of Elizabeth Proctor, despite the two hundred year gap between the conceptions of their characters. ...read more.

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