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

Discuss How Tension Is Created Through Character, Language and Action in Act III of The Crucible

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss How Tension Is Created Through Character, Language and Action in Act III of "The Crucible" The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953. Arthur Miller uses character, language and action in Act III of The Crucible in order to create a certain amount of tension and different atmospheres. The play has a dual historical context of the Salem witch trials and McCarthy era in America. In this Act, John Proctor loses his fight for justices in Salem. He originally goes into the court to defend and save his wife but ends up being accused of witchcraft himself. This becomes vital to the tension in the Act, as there is a very tin line between Proctor winning and losing his case. The whole Act revolves around the fight between Proctor and Abigail for Danforth's approval and belief. The rivalry between the two characters builds up the tension, as we, as an audience, know about Abigail and Proctor's previous affair. Miller uses dramatic irony to help create tension. We know that Proctor is seeking justice but also has a great secret. Miller also creates tension through language. Proctor is not quite in control so he uses implicit threats rather than explicit threats. ...read more.

Middle

'No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it's God's work I do.' Abigail also uses threatening language. 'You're the devils man!' This inevitably raises the tension, as the audience do not know how the threatened person will react. Abigail has enough power that she can threaten people explicitly, 'let you beware, Mr Danforth. Think you be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits, beware of it.' This raises the tension as Abigail is threatening Danforth, who is the most powerful person in the room; we have no idea how he will react to her explicit threat. Abigail's struggle for power creates the tension. Pleasing language is also used in order to increase the tension, Abigail pleads with 'Mary's Spirit' and the yellow bird, begging it to stop attacking her. This creates a climax of tension in which the frustration of both the audience and Proctor increases. Furthermore, action is used to increase the tension; Abigail's action is sudden and unexpected 'to the ceiling as if trying to talk it out of attacking her.' As she is so convincing, the audience is drawn into her deception, which also increases the tension. 'Pointing with fear, now rising up her frightened eyes.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, Miller increases the tension by making the audience wait for a reply, using pauses as a dramatic device. Danforth is the most powerful person in the Act and is biased towards Abigail, believing her instantly over Proctor. This allows Miller to create tension by having him in a position of authority. This means that Miller can use him to silence particular characters or to force them to speak. Miller uses Danforth to direct our attention and focal points. Danforth uses religious language, which builds up tension 'you are, in all respects, a gospel Christian.' By using religious language, Danforth asserts his power and supports his views. By asking questions about the other characters actions, the tension is also raises. Miller uses Danforth as a balance in the scene. Danforth also uses threatening language 'you will remain where you are.' This shows that he is still in power and will not be controlled by Abigail, even though we, as an audience, know that this is not true. It is not necessary for Danforth to have a lot of dialogue. His presence suggests power. Overall, the main tension throughout the Act is created through Language and Character. Action is used as an anticlimax from that great build-up of tension. The constant shifting of power between Proctor and Abigail causes the tension in the audience to build-up as they wish to know the final outcome. ...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

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. The Crucible - Power and Manipulation

    While I speak God's law I will not crack its voice with whimpering." Danforth's quote above tells us a lot about him. We are able to assume that he does not have a strong passion for justice even though he is a judge and that his reputation matters more to him then innocent lives.

  2. Dramatic tension is created by Miller throughout the Crucible in many ways. Straightaway, the ...

    It is ironic that Elizabeth Proctor should put forward many of the key arguments that prompt John Proctor into accepting his fate. Proctor's fate is one that captures the audience's sympathy and takes us to a sad but ultimately moral ending.

  1. By What means does Miller create a sense of Expectations within his audience in ...

    This is probably the most stained part of the book, and it makes the audience think that something bad is about to happen. Miller is a very good user of stage directions, which really help the audience and the reader as well to feel the significance of the events.

  2. GCSE Essay on Act III of the Crucible

    Miller begins the scene on a remarkably dramatic moment; Proctor becomes enraged when Abigail attempts to call Heaven. Proctor cries "How dare you call Heaven! Whore! Whore!" in this historical context the word "whore" has significantly powerful connotations with what the society would see as "evil" and "sin".

  1. Crucible: what Dramatic Devices does Miller use to Keep Abigail at the Centre of ...

    "There be no blush about my name." (pg 20) This quote from Abigail follows Parris' querying as to whether or not her name is white in the town. Abigail is saying with resentment to Parris that she is still a virgin. This is an important way in which Abigail stays at the centre of our attention.

  2. A Close Focus On Act Iii of ‘the Crucible’ the Play, ‘the Crucible’.

    One reason for this may be that Elizabeth has not forgiven John for having an affair with Abigail whilst she was ill. Whilst Mary was at court with the other girls where people were being tried for witchcraft she made a poppet for Elizabeth.

  1. How does Miller build up the character of Abigail? How do you feel Miller ...

    Abigail knew that her best was out of the situation that she was in, was to shift the blame, and want to return to Jesus, as the Puritans focused on confession and repentance. I think that Abigail's crying out is symbolic, for the acts of those Abigail Williams' during the McCarthy era.

  2. John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

    But the only way for Proctor to try to get his wife out of trouble and had to let the truth out even if it ruined his reputation. Eventually John Proctor comes to his tragic death. This put?s all of his characteristics together which made him a tragic hero.

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