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Act three is the boiling point of the crucible. How does Arthur Miller create tension and suspense to achieve dramatic effect?

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Act three is the boiling point of the crucible. How does Arthur Miller create tension and suspense to achieve dramatic effect? The crucible was written in 1953 to highlight the atrocities of 'McCarthyism', the modern parallel to the Salem witch-hunts. Senator Joseph McCarthy was as determined to hunt out communists, as the Salem judges had been to hunt out witches. Like the Salem judges he sought to extract first confessions and then named of alleged associates. Refusal to denounce others in both communities could be punished as contempt of the committee or court therefore many were forced into self-preservation and started to blame others to save themselves. Most of the crucible is centered on the court and theocracy. It was these strong religious beliefs that made the 'town' of Salem, Massachusetts, particularly disrupted by the rumour of witchcraft. Salem was an intensely Puritan village whose religion frowned upon fun; Christmas festivities were forbidden and holidays only meant that they must focus even more time upon prayer and the church. This strict upbringing, without any fun, was partly to blame for the children's 'crying out'. The boredom they must have suffered led to their accusations so that they may be at the centre of attention. ...read more.


Tension is increased when Hathorne asks Mary to faint, if it were only pretence. Mary Warren is obviously not able to faint as she is not hysteria and cannot do it alone. Mary warren still shows a lot of resistance to Abigail's power, but Danforth and the court are deeply affected by it. Abigail plays to Danforth's guilt. She says 'I have been near to murdered every day because I have done my duty pointing out the Devil's people'. Danforth weakens and she gains more power. However, Abigail knows she still won't be able to win, so she lies and acts hysterical, knowing the others would actually enter hysteria, for self-preservation. This hysteria creates tension because usually when the girls are in hysteria they blame other people for witchcraft so we are left wondering who will be accused and what will happen next: will Proctor find another way to prove his wife is innocent or will the accusations continue until there is no-body left in the village. Mary Warren does not subject yet, but is saved by Proctor. As a last attempt to save his wife, his name and Mary Warren John Proctor accuses Abigail Williams of lechery. ...read more.


This showed amazing courage and I believe he was the only character to stand up for his true beliefs throughout the entire play. I think that Reverend Parris was the character that changes his beliefs most drastically. After the fever had died Parris was voted out of office and he disappeared. Abigail also disappeared after losing her main target and was rumoured later to have turned up as a prostitute in Boston. Elizabeth proctor remarried. The power of theocracy in Massachusetts was broken. However the living victims and the dead families did not receive compensation from the government until 20 years after last execution Arthur Miller creates tension mainly by time and waiting, suspense. He puts Giles Corey's deposition in before Proctor's to create time all the time in act three leaves the audience in suspense as we know about Proctors deposition but wonder if Mary Warren will be brave enough to see it through to the end. Another of the biggest ways Miller cerates tension us the tension between the characters, Abigail and Mary, Abigail and proctor, hale, Parris, Danforth. He uses these for conflict and dramatic effects. I think that Arthur Miller creates and combines tension and suspense in the correct places to create a very successful, affective and moving play with deep moral issue in an appropriate way. ...read more.

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