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Crucible - Discuss two highly dramatic incidents in the play, saying how Miller creates tension and emotion.

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Introduction

Neha Jain U5a 18.01.2005 English Literature coursework Crucible Discuss two highly dramatic incidents in the play, saying how Miller creates tension and emotion. Arthur Miller wrote the play, The Crucible, in 1952 about actual historical events that took place in the small eastern town of Salem the, "Salem witch trials." Miller uses many dramatic devices to dramatise the story, which took place over 300 years ago. In Act One as the play begins, the setting of the stage in the overture creates tension and suspicion because of the dubious position in which it starts, "Reverend Paris is discovered kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer." This is very ambiguous as we do not know as of yet why he is praying, creating suspicion and tension in the audience as to what has happened to make him pray. It is evidently morning as the window is letting the morning sun into the wooden room. However "a candle still burns, near to the bed", this bares the question why is the candle still burning when it is day? The candle probably symbolises that Paris has been up all night. This creates a dramatic sense that what has happened has been important because he has given up his sleep. When Paris speaks for the first time after the entrance of Tituba, he speaks in extremely small sentences often consisting of one or more words adding a great deal of pace to the speech creating the image that he is worried, "Betty. Child. Dear child" he also speaks loudly as depicted by the use of an exclamation mark, "god help me!" His actions are sharp and fast like his speech, "scrambling to his feet in fury. (Stage direction)" also snapping at Tituba "get out of here," to emphasise his frustration, worry and the tension now clearly in the room. Considering that the room is made of wood, Paris's brisk movements would not only show his temperament but would make a creaking sound adding to the unease. ...read more.

Middle

But it is not in vain as Goody Proctor reacts warmly to him, "blushing with pleasure"; giving an inkling that she still loves him. Though the feeling is that of betrayal and guilt there is a warm, gentle fragment of loyalty and love emancipated out of their conversation, which proves they still both feel love towards one another. Mary Warren comes in to the house-hold to discuss the events which took place in Salem earlier on and that, "Aye a proper court they have now. They've sent four judges out of Boston," and that "39" women have been accused of witchcraft. She then proceeds to talk about the accused and that Mrs Proctor has been accused. This shocks them and that Rebecca nurse has also been accused, as she is a well-respected person in the Salem community and adds to the drama. Both of the women have enemies who wish to destroy them (Abigail and Mrs Putnam) and two rival factions are now clearly taking form, Goody Proctor is arrested. The home scene between Proctor and his wife is placed before she is arrested to dramatically show how innocent and plain Goody Proctor was and the contrast of her seeing John in the wrong by her being arrested, this dramatically portraits injustice. Proctor's actions towards the arrest of his wife are dramatic as he runs out adding to the action and pace of the scene, "I will not have her chained!" The fact he will not have her chained when they are authorised to do so indicates conflict and gives drama, the use of an apostrophe shows his anger again adds gives a dramatic effect to the audiences Towards the end of the act pressure is placed on a character this time it is Mary who is being pressurised by the now fiery Proctor due his wife's imprisonment. Proctor tries to force Mary to tell the court about the "poppet" which Mrs Proctor was arrested for, "You will tell the court how the poppet come here." ...read more.

Conclusion

He has thrown away his life but still stands "erect", they've pushed him all the way physically and mentally but he has not fallen keeping his dignity, ethics and pride, which we know mean so much to him as does his life which is why it is so dramatic. Miller has created a twist luring the audience in with Goody Proctors persuasion, hooking them in with signing the confession but masking the fact he was to "rip up his life," and die for what he believes and becoming a type of martyr or tragic hero. Miller's, The Crucible, is structured to gain dramatic effect. Each act takes on the same structure and has very similar properties. The first two scenes to begin with build up information about different events, which take place off stage. All acts build up to a climax, giving away hints about the next act and each act ends with pressure being placed on a certain character. Act one it is Tituba; act two it is Mary; act three Mary and Mrs Proctor and act four John Proctor. "The Crucible" is a fitting name for the play as a crucible is a melting pot, which eventually displaces the pure from the waste. Which also happens in the play each act is a small melting pot as in act one, the different things are added by way of the story being built up and then heated. The heat in act one is Hale and overall the whole play is a melting pot. The story built up, the heat added by the way of the court and the pure displaced from the waste. The pure, being the characters that wouldn't pass on the blame because they were too strong and would not give up their morals. The irony is that the people who deserved to be killed i.e. Abigail and Paris compared to the remorseful Proctor and the innocent Rebecca nurse. Miller created a dramatic play by incorporating dramatic language, stage directions and the play is structured in such a way that it gives the audience an abundance of drama. ...read more.

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