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Discussion on pages 91-95 of 'The Crucible' By Arthur Miller.

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Introduction

Discussion on pages 91-95 of 'The Crucible' By Arthur Miller 'The Crucible' is a very clever and fascinating play; primarily what makes the play so interesting is the fact that it can be interpreted on two levels. On a more basic stage it is a very dramatic, theatrical and emotional story full of unexpected twists, however on a higher point it is full of both political and religious messages. Miller wrote The Crucible in the 1950's almost 300 years after the Salem witch-hunt, although he did have an extremely good motive for writing the play. Arthur Miller recognised the similarities between the persecution of the witches in the seventeenth century and the persecution of communists in the mid twentieth century. The play despite its political inspiration has some spectacular scenes be it Abigail accusing the majority of Salem of being witches, or John Proctor dying to save his name. The passage while reading the play I found most intriguing and motivating, was pages 91-95. A brief summary of this scene is John Proctor, with evidence from Mary Warren is trying to prove to the court that his wife is innocent of witchcraft, and that Abigail (a sixteen year old girl who is accusing Elizabeth Proctor of this deed) is a liar. Abigail is in a very powerful position in the town of Salem and has had many individuals hanged due to her ...read more.

Middle

At first Elizabeth avoids answering the question and simply says, "My husband is a goodly man." Then Elizabeth blames herself; "I came to think he fancied her. And one night I lost my wits and put her out on the highroad." This shows a different side to Elizabeth as during the play she does not reveal much about her emotions right until the very end of the play, so here she is opening up and saying her jealousy is the cause of Abigail being sacked from the house. Eventually Elizabeth is forced to answer as Danforth is being very harsh on her and demands an answer. Of course now the suspense of the scene is great and in answer to Danforth's question she states faintly "No, sir." This shows how much Elizabeth loves John, as she was willing to give up her 'name' and lie under oath not only to the court but also to God. What makes this part of the scene so tragic is Elizabeth lied to all these people for the good of her husband, but all John Proctor wanted Elizabeth to do was to tell the truth about the affair. This scene is also very captivating as there are so many different storylines and agendas going on in it, on the surface you have Elizabeth Proctor lying for her husband which results in them having a dire consequence, and Hales dramatic change of opinion. ...read more.

Conclusion

It shows the dangers of living in a theocratic society where everything is kept behind closed doors, and when it is exposed the consequences can be literally in Salem in the seventeenth century, fatal. This scene is strengthened by the 17th century language, which adds a certain harsh quality to the way the line sounds. The ending of the scene is my favourite part of the passage, this is because the is when Mary sees Danforth is believing Abigail more and more and she knows that she will be hanged if she does not join Abigail. Therefore she admits to speaking with the Devil, but says to the court "(Mary pointing at Proctor) You are the Devil's man!" This surprises everyone probably even Mary herself as she didn't think she was strong enough to do it, but she realises fighting against Abigail was fighting a losing battle. Throughout the play there are many interesting and dramatic scenes, which captivated my imagination, however this scene stood out above all others largely because of the acting potential and the tremendous depth to the characters although the reasons above also played a part in why I enjoyed the scene. Recently Arthur miller was stated saying, "At least the play is still living" I believe it certainly is. ...read more.

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