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Discuss how Miller creates dramatic tension in Act 4 of his play 'The Crucible'.

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Discuss how Miller creates dramatic tension in Act 4 of his play 'The Crucible' Act 4 of Arthur Miller's play 'The Crucible' was written in 1954 during a time in America when communism was a very big issue. The play was written along similar themes and Miller thought about the issue of America when reading the transcripts of what took place in Salem. The play had a dramatic impact on the audience because the emotion and tension is continually staggered which leaves the audience in deep suspense. Miller uses many different techniques and devices throughout the Act to bring it up to a climax and then causes disappointment by bringing it down to an anti-climax. ...read more.


Prayer and community fasting took place within the village in an attempt to relieve the evil forces from the "witches". Three women were accused by the girls in an effort to have the pressure taken off them and they were later arrested. Tituba, a slave, confessed to seeing the devil that appeared to her "sometimes like a hog and sometimes like a great dog". Over then next weeks, other people confessed and were accused by other people. Some of the accused already had criminal records, including witchcraft, but others were faithful church goers. After twenty people had been executed in the Salem witch hunt, a letter was written criticizing the witchcraft trials which had great impact on the Governor. ...read more.


This is thought to be the reason why Miller was inspired to write 'The Crucible'. Whilst watching this play, contemporary audiences would feel anxious and frustrated as they would be able to relate to the witch hunt and the idea of ruining someone's reputation. The setting of Act 4 creates a tense mood and atmosphere. It's set at night which symbolises death and mysteriousness, whereas all of the other Acts are set in day time. Miller has written it this way purposely to give a dramatic impact to the Act which works well as it gets the audience prepared for later events. It is marked out as different to the previous Act giving it a sense of foreboding. ...read more.

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