• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the relationship between John Proctor and Abigail Williams and how Arthur Miller presents it to an audience.

Extracts from this document...


Consider the relationship between John Proctor and Abigail Williams and how Arthur Miller presents it to an audience. Arthur Miller wrote the play "The Crucible" in 1953. He wrote the play as a response to his own experiences in the witch-hunt, which were concerned with anti-Capitalist Pro-Communist accusations. Miller himself was accused of anti-American activities. He wrote the play set in an area of Massachusetts called Salem in 1692 where some adolescent girls were dabbling in the supernatural and the jails were eventually filled with men and women accused of witchcraft and twenty people were hanged. The inhabitants of Salem were rigid in their interpretation of the Bible, believing in witches and the Devil. They believed also that the Bible instructed them that witches must be hanged. John Proctor is the central character in the play. He is the husband of a good Puritan woman, Elizabeth, and is the lover of a young girl in the town, Abigail. She was employed in John Proctor's household as a maid. When we first meet John Proctor, we are given a powerful description of him. He is described as a man in his mid-thirties, powerful of body and even tempered. ...read more.


"Then go and see her and tell her that she's a whore. Whatever promise she may sense, break it, John, break it." She sees that Abigail is the villain. The whole charade is all about Abigail wanting to have John and she will stop at nothing to achieve her end. Elizabeth is wise in her commanding John to do her bidding but we, the audience, sense her sense of desolation at her situation. On one hand, she wishes to prevent her husband having any more to do with Abigail, but, on the other, if she does not make him face her and show that he recognises Abigail's intentions, she, Elizabeth, may die. Later on in the Act, Cheever arrives at the Proctor's house with a warrant for the arrest of Elizabeth. It appears that Abigail Williams has charged her with conspiring with the Devil. He comes looking for poppets (dolls). "So will you hand me any poppets that your wife may keep here." The doll, of course, is used in black magic, representative of another being. A doll is found with a needle attached to it. It turns out to be the poppet of their servant, Mary. ...read more.


She knows that she will face death but she lies to protect him. Proctor realises all that he has lost and all that was his own fault. Proctor should be presented as a broken man and his wife as submissive, having all hope taken away from her. Abigail still has the power. She is a commanding presence. In Act 4, Abigail runs away from Salem. The situation has out grown her and so she does what we would expect such a shallow person to do, run away. John is hung after he and Elizabeth become close again and say they're sorry. Hale wants John to confess to his lie, which he will not. Elizabeth understands her husband. He is a good, honest man and should be remembered as one. He must have his name. She recognises his needs to be honourable. Abigail is without doubt the villain of the play. John is the hero. Despite the fact that John is hanged at the end of the play, we respect him and admire him. He has made serious mistakes, but he never falters when he is presented with what is right. Elizabeth too never falters whereas Abigail makes mistakes and compounds these mistakes and allows other people to die for her selfishness. Then, at the end of the play, she runs away like a thief. She is truly evil. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay demonstrates a good understanding of the play and the characters within it. There are many apt points made; however some of them need to be developed more fully to really show a full understanding of how Miller uses certain techniques for effect and to convey certain messages.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Crucible act one

    3 star(s)

    How does Rebecca Nurse explain the children's strange behaviour? Rebecca Nurse tries to explain the child's spectacle as just silliness and nothing more. She believes that Betty and Ruth will come out of their afflicted states when they tire of the game. 13. What reasons does John Proctor give for staying away from church?

  2. Literature: Essay on 'The Crucible'

    His beliefs morally strengthen him to preserve the honesty of Rebecca Nurse and put an end the lies created by the Puritan child. ''Beguile me not! I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence!''

  1. The Crucible: Misuse of power.

    He believes that the church is the authority of all people in the town. He also believes himself an authoritative figure. He believes that anyone who does not commit his or her lives to the church should be questioned. He also demands that the people of Salem are obedient to the church and himself.

  2. What is the significance of the title: The crucible?

    he feels that if such a label taints his name his life is not worth living. "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!

  1. The Crucible - Act 1 – Abigail Diary.

    He came to see me! Soon he can have me. Tituba has confessed to witchcraft and names are already being mentioned. If I can involve Elizabeth Proctor somehow John could me mine! I hope so, I really do hope so!

  2. Elia Kazan's film On the Waterfront and Arthur Miller's play The Crucible tell similar ...

    However there is also a strong difference in the way in which the characters give birth to the guilt they have on their conscience. Both characters face the stress of confessing their sins for the better of the majority. Terry Malloy has to confess to his love, Edie, that he

  1. Why and How Does Eddie Carbone Change As The Play Progresses? What Leads to ...

    The brothers' background is important, as it reflects how they act towards other people and their surroundings. "In our town there are no piers only the beach and little fishing boats". This now shows us that, as poor peasants looking for work, they will have high expectations of America.

  2. Elizabeth Proctor Monologue for Act 2

    Nevertheless, the tone of his visit did not seem as wholesome. Noticing the frequency of our visits to the church and the baptisms of only two of our sons allowed concealed doubts to arise. My sickness be the cause of our absence at Church, and yet people are so quick to accuse and point fingers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work