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Arthur Miller is a master of theatrical technique. How is this demonstrated on pages 97-100 of "The Crucible"?

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Introduction

Arthur Miller is a master of theatrical technique. How is this demonstrated on pages 97-100 of "The Crucible"? Mary Warren has been drawn in to court by John Proctor to make her tell the court how the girls were lying. This is in an attempt to save his wife who is being accused of witchcraft because of Abigail's games. Abigail then begins to pretend Marry Warren is witching her, as do the other girls. Abigail's outburst creates an incident that the audience do not expect. In this section Arthur Miller's themes of reputation, hysteria and intolerance are put across using Proctors blunt, monosyllabic confession, which leads to another of Millers dramatic climaxes. John Proctor begins his unexpected confession with: "It is a whore!" The short length of his sentence puts emphasis on his sudden outburst of emotion. Proctors use of the word "whore" would have greatly shocked the many Puritans in the courtroom as they would have been opposed to such profanity and the audience would have noticed this. John Proctor has previously refused to say anything about his affair with Abigail when his wife asked him due to, fears of his reputation being tarnished. As the play has progressed, the audience have become increasingly aware of how important Proctors reputation is to him therefore; they understand how much of a sacrifice he is making. This makes the audience warm to him. The theme of reputation runs through out the play. ...read more.

Middle

He then begins to excuse her, placing the blame upon himself. Miller is again controlling the audience causing them to feel sympathy for Proctor. There is the use of dramatic irony when Proctor says to Danforth: "It is a whores vengeance, and you must see it" Yet still he does not understand. The playwright knows the audience are aware of this, as this is to make them feel compassion towards Proctor, as no one else in the courtroom fully understands the greatness of what is happening. Danforth is "blanched" and "in horror" having heard all that Proctor has just said. Danforth refers to what has just been said as "scrap and tittle" as he does not wish to anger Abigail by showing any doubt in her, as he fears her. Abigail has now become very powerful and could easily turn against Danforth and begin accusing him and he is aware of this. This affects the audience, as they know by the way Danforth expresses disbelief that there is no hope for Proctor. The court proceedings have come to a stage where Danforth cannot afford to have Abigail confess to have been lying all this time and she is aware of this. This gives Abigail power, which she knows she has and uses it, an example of this being when she says: "I will not come back again" Danforth begins to put words in to Abigail's mouth, such as: "You deny every scrap" as he does not wish things to go badly for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Danforth then rephrases his question to the present tense and asks: "Is your husband a lecher?" and Elizabeth then answers no. This affects the audience, as it is an extremely dramatic moment in the play as by trying to save her husband, she has just sealed his fate. She has still however, did not lie due to the way the question was phrased; although her husband committed adultery he is not a lecher. Danforth then calls to the Marshall to: "Remove her" as he has got the result he wished for. Proctor then cries out: "tell the truth" giving the audience hope that perhaps she will say something to change the fate of her husband, however Danforth does not giver her a chance as he calls to the marshal yet again to remove her. Elizabeth's line: "Oh God!" reflects the audiences' emotion of what has just happened. As the stage directions state: "The door closes behind her" this comes across, as a striking and symbolic image to the audience as it represents that there is no going back on what has just been done. In Salem logic has been replaced with disorder and chaos as Puritans are accused of having communicated with the devil. Miller, like many other innocent citizens in America during the 1950's was persecuted for association with communism. Arthur Miller gives an insight in to the judgemental ways of an extremist government that allows the antipathy that its subjects feel towards others to be used as a weapon to make innocent people such as Proctor the reason for conflict. ...read more.

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