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GCSE: Arthur Miller
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Examine miller's presentation of the marriage of John and Elizabeth proctor in the crucible. What relevance does this have to the theme of witchcraft?
Parris caught them and jumped from a bush startling the girls. Betty fainted and had not recovered. Already there are rumours that Betty's illness is due to witchcraft, but Parris tells Abigail that he cannot admit that he found his daughter and niece dancing like heathen in the forest. During this session, Abigail drank chicken blood to kill Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail says she will admit to dancing and accept the punishment, but will not admit to witch craft. Abigail and Parris discuss rumours about the girls: when they were dancing one of the girls was naked and Tituba was screeching gibberish.
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How Does Arthur Miller Make the Last Scene of Act One From A View from the Bridge Dramatic To Watch? Why Is This Scene Important In The Play?
Clearly she has within her a large flowing reservoir of love and affection for Eddie. I have proof of this because whenever Eddie shows mistrust or suspicion she is always there for him with a reassuring word, even though she is clearly anxious to support Catherine to make sure she gets the independent life she deserves. Beatrice is a more open character than Eddie, who likes to keep quite and reserved around people he is unsure of. I have noticed that Beatrice is happy knowing that Eddie is in charge of everything; she does not seem to show signs of her wanting her own rights.
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"Oh, there were many people here who were justly shot by unjust men. Justice is important here," . Already a contrast has been made between law and justice, as we will see later on in the play. The message given is quite clear, people here always have to recieve justice, even if that means taking the law into their own hands. [The quote itself in subtext may be hinting at the concept of revenge.] After hearing Alfieri's speech the audience already feel slightly threatened as a sinister, or quite tragic ending for this play has as of now been foreshadowed.
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These issues were particularly relevant to Miller because of the time in which he was living. He uses many different techniques to present these ideas to the audience, for example the setting, characters, structure, stage directions and language. Arthur Miller wrote 'The Crucible' during a time in which many innocent people were wrongly accused of Communism and had their rights taken away from them. Arthur Miller himself experienced this unfair treatment and so used the play to illustrate this. There are several different meanings to word 'Crucible'. One of these is 'a melting pot'. Everyone in the play is 'thrown into the melting pot' because anyone could be named a witch.
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Mary then decides to recite a list of the accused in the trails in Salem, Miller's endeavor to create even more drama pays off as when Elizabeth's name is 'somewhat mentioned' in the court. At this point John becomes infuriated. Mary tries to calm everyone down and gives Elizabeth a doll that she had made during the proceedings in court. This in turn indirectly creates drama due to the fact that the audience is prefixed on the belief that it is a kind gesture, but it is later used against Elizabeth when she is being condemned, "'Tis Hard proof...I find here a poppet...in the belly...a needle's stuck."
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Everything people did was based around the bible. Salem is a Christian village and as a result of everyone trying to follow the rules all the time, it meant young children had to be seen and not heard. This forced youngsters to rebel and one of the main ways to show your displeasure was to get involved in witchcraft, which was the complete opposite of what the theocratic society demanded from you. This is ironic as the exact same events were happening when Miller wrote the play.
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Although she is regarded as a woman of blameless honesty, she causes her husband to be full of guilt when she lies about his affair with Abigail, thinking that this will save him. However, Elizabeth can be a cold and demanding woman whose unfriendly behaviour she feels may have driven her husband to adultery and whose constant suspicions of her husband makes their marriage tense. Deputy Governor Danforth is a strict yet a practical man more interested in caring for the dignity and greatness of the court than in breaking justice or behaving with any sense of fairness.
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Catherine says Eddie is "a rat" who belongs in the sewer - To what extent by the end of the play, does the audience agree with her?
From the beginning of the play Eddie is the overprotective guardian who seems to be possessive over Catherine. "I promise your mother.... I'm responsible for you", Eddie fells he is responsible for Catherine and misinterprets the role of a guardian. In Catherine's eyes, he is "controlling her life, by not giving her freedom as she is growing up. Many people may argue that he has no right over her, as technically he is not her real father. He is unable to accept that she is growing up, some how he needs to realise that she is now seventeen and he can not continue to treat her like child.
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How does Arthur Miller show in "The Crucible" that SalemSociety has the capacity for what started as "just dancin' in the woods" to end with the deaths of innocent people?
Once in court the accused person is in a dilemma, with nowhere to turn without some loss, whether it be life or reputation. Although at the beginning it represents a just system, the court slowly stoops to the level of the men who supposedly bring the chance of a fair hearing to the villagers. Its senior figure, Danforth depicts perfectly how the town was brought to shambles by some old grudges and petty grievances, which were "swept under the carpet" and ignored.
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'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller is all about a lie which spirals out of control until it becomes the cause of the death of many innocent people.
Parris summons Reverend Hale of Beverley, and asks him to come and prove that the rumours of witchcraft are untrue. On his arrival, he inspects Betty and Ruth Putnam and decides that it may be evil spirits that are responsible for all this, even though we know that Betty is actually pretending to be corrupted, to protect herself from being whipped. He questions Abigail and Tituba about the night they were found in the forest, we find out that Abigail drank chicken blood, a charm she had asked Tituba to make to kill Goody Proctor.
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The relationship he shares with Catherine has knock-on effects with his relationship towards other characters in the play. Although he is the ruin of the family because he breaks a strict code of the community by going to the Immigration Bureau, Alfieri at the end of the play as somebody also notes him he admires most. Eddie caused triumph by the law of the land but also caused himself to perish by the laws of the community. Alfieri says in his final speech that although Eddie Carbone was not one of his more sensible clients, Eddie was "himself purely" and let himself be "wholly known". Eddie is therefore also a hero who died for what he believed in.
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It also has a connection with witches, as this melting pot could symbolise a cauldron. It can be the hollow at the bottom of an ore furnace, representing the hollowness and dishonesty of the villagers in Salem. As a result, the title does not immediately make the audience believe that John Proctor's death be inevitable as the villagers of Salem are represented as being hollow and shallow so are expected to willingly admit to witchcraft if it means that their lives will be spared.
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By coming down to her level as he says this he seems to give her the comfort almost of a father to a daughter. However as soon as Mr Danforth begins to question her she begins to break down. By her second answer her voice has already weakened. As the questioning continues she deteriorates until she is barely audible. She does pick herself up though when she is asked if she is a liar she replies "No, sir - I am with God now."
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A view form the bridge - Explore the Dramatic Devices and Structures Used In the Play To Highlight the Audience’S Understanding of the Tragic Character of
The audience could be seen as on the bridge looking down onto the play, powerless to stop its fate. Alfieri is the narrator and he could be seen as a bridge, linking the audience to the play. He is giving his view of the events that will take place. Central to the plot, is the journey being taken by Catherine into womanhood - a journey that Eddie is reluctant to let her embark upon. Many journeys like this will involve crossing a bridge. The arrival of Marco and Rodolpho forms a bridge between the poor people of Italy, and the immigrants, who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families in America.
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Drama is a prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action. The people of Salem believe they are strict Christians, superior, respected, virtuous and attend church every Sunday. As a community on the whole, the Salem society is mutually against any form of witchcraft and dancing hence the witch trials. This is why it is ironic that the Reverend's daughter and niece (his household)
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Miller also wanted this play to be a modern version of a Greek Tragedy, in which a central character is led by fate towards an inevitable destiny; thus when the final version of A View From The Bridge was published in 1956, he retained much of the content of the verse but transformed it into prose. In this essay I shall discuss how the audience's opinion of the central character of the play, Eddie Carbone, changes and the factors that influence them.
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The vast majority of those found guilty of witchcraft and 'consorting with the devil' are women, again revealing the stereotypical link between women and witchcraft. However, Miller ensures that this stereotype is not always enforced, and the audience rejects this problematised stereotype as 'evil' characters such as Tituba and Sarah Osbourne are contrasted by characters of high morality such as Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey, who the audience condones. In The Crucible, women are generally given much more agency than men in that it is Abigail and her cohorts who name and essentially sentence the 'witches', while the men of society, who are represented by the judicial system, follow their command.
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I found that the role of husband and wife were very different to the role today. The husband for example was expected to provide financial support for the family, as Eddie does with his job on the docks. The wife however is expected to serve and obey her husband and provide emotional support for the family. I also found that the Italian culture and religion (Catholicism) meant they had strict rules on sexual behaviour and strong moral about what was right and wrong. I also discovered that honour was a very important part of the Italian and Mediterranean culture and that brotherhood and community were very important and to be treasured and protected.
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The first leaders of the settlement, when it was founded in 1626, devised the rules which would be the salvation and yet the downfall of the community. It was set up by a group of puritans, an extremely strict, orthodox sect of the Christian church, who were persecuted for their beliefs, back in England. The laws had two main purposes: to protect the community from outside threats and to safeguard the religious nature of the settlement. Native Indians who had hitherto occupied North America uninhibited regarded Western settlers as a threat and there were great many battles between the two parties, over land and resources.
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He does not find a conclusion after telling the Carbone story, but tells it nonetheless and he speaks and reveals his honest view of the facts. Alfieri admittedly cannot help Eddie Carbone, but must powerlessly watch the tragic events unfold before him "and sat there powerless as I watched it run its bloody course". There is no illusion of reality, Alfieri purposely breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience during the rebuilding of the story. He is the teller of and incredible story that he cannot change.
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(page 28). In contrast, Alfieri speaks in the long, fluent sentences of an educated lawyer. This communicates that, although he too was an immigrant from Italy, he has also become part of American society. Miller found the Greek concept of fate engaging. In this play, as in most Greek drama, the past continually reappears in the present, causing further complications for the characters. For example, when Rodolfo sings "Paper Doll" for the first time he is only trying to please his hosts and to show off his talent, but Eddie instinctively senses that Catherine enjoys his singing and stops it.
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She brings with her Susanna Walcott, who tells Rev. Parris that Dr. Griggs can find no cure for Betty's ailment. Parris claims that he has sent for Reverend Hale of Beverly, who will confirm the possibility of an unnatural cause of Betty's illness, but he orders Susanna to say nothing of unnatural causes to others. Abigail warns Parris that there are rumors of witchcraft and that the parlor is packed with people, but Parris tells her that he cannot explain that he found his daughter and niece dancing like heathen in the forest.
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One of the main themes in the play is the conflict between good and evil. Several of the characters struggle to overcome this conflict in themselves. How does John Proctor struggle to find his essential goodness?
In the play the judges see themselves as good and think they are defending the community from evil and witches. They are in fact persecuting and destroying good people and so it is them who actually do the evil. The author, Arthur Miller, sees these men as evil, but they themselves apparently thought they were doing the right thing. The characters who knowingly do evil are Abigail, the Putnams and at times Parris. The main character in 'The Crucible' is John Proctor.
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Then the way in which they clasp hands reminds us of the sealing of a pact. This is only speculation, but they could have come to America with the intention of tricking a girl to marry Rodolpho so he could become an American citizen. This is entirely possible, as throughout the play we have heard evidence from Eddie suggesting this, and for a lot of it, he persuaded us. It is only towards the end that we start to trust Rodolpho, and there is still some doubt.
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The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 and was based mainly around the connection between the Salem witch trials and the McCarthyite witch hunts;
Danforth believes the girls and Mary knows she will probably be killed, so she decides to get on the same side as Abigail by accusing Proctor of witchcraft. In the video we see that they are in the sea where this happened, a special scene written just for the video, we see that John Proctor declares 'God is dead!' and therefore more people start to believe he is a witch. Other main characters in this scene would include: Danforth, Judge Hathorne and Reverend Hale- he is starting to doubt the workings of the courthouse.
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