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

Essay Title: How does Miller create and raise dramatic effects and tension within Act III of the Crucible?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1Essay Title: How does Miller create and raise dramatic effects and tension within Act III of the Crucible? 21-Sep-03 By Michael Roberts, 11Co. Arthur Miller is now seen by many as one of the most controversial and cunning play writers of this century. Understanding the irony of the Crucible shows just how cunning he was in deceiving most critics and experts of the time, and even today. Miller had to work a number of odd jobs to support himself. These were formative years for Miller, during which the formerly indifferent student began reading on his own and developing a strong social conscience and sense of justice. This is why he had managed not to 'jump on the bandwagon' and formed his own views of the 1950's and used his play to show his ideas and political views. One of the major themes in the play is that of good versus evil. Based on the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century, The Crucible explores the fragility of a changing society and the difficulty of doing good in the face of evil and tremendous social pressures, both at the social and personal level. John Proctor, the flawed protagonist of the play, is faced with the choice of accepting responsibility for his actions and doing the right thing. In a similar vein, society as a whole must deal with the challenge of doing good when threatened by evil. Although Miller does not do this so overtly, he deals with issues of gender. The accusers in the play are a group of young, hysterical females, and the majority of people that they accuse are women, such as Elizabeth and Rebecca. In spite of the false accusations against them, it is the female characters that act courageously and with faith. At the same time, most of the male characters are unable to defend the truth, due to their moral weakness and scepticism. ...read more.

Middle

The second point where Miller raises dramatic tension within the Act is the outburst made by John Proctor, husband to the accused. During the court scene John Proctor begins to feel all hope fading fast. Abigail is twisting and turning Danforth and Hathorne due to her look of innocence and purity on the exterior. Proctor must feel a sense of anger along with the audience and he proclaims, "Whore! Whore! It is a whore's vengeance, she sort to dance upon Elizabeth's grave!" The audience must begin to feel hope and the tension starts to rise amongst the stage characters. Instead of Proctor deciding it's the right time to say this, I think that this outburst is more due to anger and hatred against Abigail, after hearing her manipulative lies. This is the first point within the scene that Miller has made the audience feel hope and excitement for the Proctor's throughout the play. Also Miller uses this point for the characters on stage to see what Abigail is really like under the innocent exterior. They see here not as an innocent seven-teen year old girl but as a malicious coward. Abigail also realises that the noose is tightening round her neck. This important point of the play gives more interest and sets the pace and volume throughout the rest of the play. Miller chooses this pace and level of volume to produce passion onstage from the characters onstage and the audience. This passion Miller wants is what he feels toward the situation in his time. The third point of high tension is the moment after the outburst made by John Proctor. Judge Danforth, an insensitive and ruthless judge more interested in the number of convictions, calls in the waiting Elizabeth Proctor. He calls her in to ask her why she threw out her maidservant who was Abigail. As Elizabeth was waiting outside she has not heard proclaims by her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

This just leads to more volume on stage and dramatically finishes with Mary Warren screaming and Hale shouting that he quits the proceedings. Miller has created such a dramatic scene to raise the tension to a high, and cleverly ends the scene at a tense moment, which gives doubt for the audience. The choice John Proctor must make is between saving either him or society. His failure to do good initially allows events to get out of hand and eventually forces him into a position where he must make a choice. Reverend Hale, while not subject to the same moral quandary as Proctor, also suffers a crisis of consciousness for his failure to strive hard enough to stop the proceedings of the court. In contrast to them both are Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor, whose moral and emotional steadfastness represents society at its best. In a society at odds with itself and where reason and faith in the society has been replaced with irrationality and self-doubt, a clever manipulator can cause chaos. The Reverend Parris, Danforth, Hathorne, and Putnam represent the corruption of society by self-interested parties preying on society's fears. Through them, Miller highlights the destruction that manipulation and weak- minded people can thrust upon society. Miller suggests that in such times good can only triumph through a sacrifice upon the altar of society, that the crisis might only be able to be rectified by the death of those who struggle to uphold society's values. The death of John Proctor, though it might seem a tragic waste, is necessary, both for his own personal redemption and that of his society. The sacrifice of Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Giles Corey and others, recalls the sacrifice of Christ for the sake of humankind. In the end, The Crucible focuses on a historical event to drive home issues that essentially characterise all societies at all times, which makes the play both universal and enduring. 1 2 3 Michael Roberts 2 Page 1 of 4. ...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. Literature: Essay on 'The Crucible'

    Despite this, he also seems very willing to work with the accused and genuinely wants them to confess and save their souls. His character does not change much during the play but he is sometimes blinded by justice and his belief in God that he thinks he cannot go wrong.

  2. What is the significance of the title: The crucible?

    he feels that if such a label taints his name his life is not worth living. "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!

  1. The Crucible - Act 1 – Abigail Diary.

    I hope so, I really do hope so! Xxx Abigail xxX. Act 2- Elizabeth Diary 6:30pm He came in late this evening. I knew when he came home that he'd been into Salem. He says he was planting all the way out to the forest edge. Maybe he was, but he did say earlier in the week that he was going to go into town.

  2. Using both Act 2 and Act 4, explore the relationship between John and Elizabeth. ...

    up' the situation in Salem, which can be likened to that of a 'crucible'- a melting pot used to remove impurities from precious metals. Additionally, John's relationship with Elizabeth is symbolic of the town's puritan culture; it is very mundane and based upon stringent Christian morals.

  1. How Does Arthur Miller Present The Characters of Abigail and Elizabeth and Shape Our ...

    This one significant claim unfortunately diminishes Proctor's final strategy to save his wife as Abigail still has an immense amount of power within Salem. On the contrary to the response the audience has to Abigail's lie, Miller presents Elizabeth's significant lie to be selfless yet weak.

  2. None of the characters in Arthur Millers 'The Crucible' are wholly blameless for the ...

    watch her inner conflicts and the way in which she deals with the emotions surrounding her relationship. Structure is not a large factor in creating sympathy for Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a constant presence throughout the play, except in the very beginning when the mayhem starts.

  1. The Crucible - "How does MIller create tension in Act 1

    In Act one of the play, Miller sets the scene for the opening of the play with stage directions of Reverend Parris "kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer". Quickly, the audience are shown that religion plays a major role in the play and what seems to be one of the main themes too.

  2. How does Miller build up tension in Act 1 of the Crucible?

    Putnam: "Against him and all authority!" Proctor: "Why then I must find it and join it" Proctor is tired of Parris's preaching about the devil and shocks everybody by saying he wants to join this party against Parris. The anger and the volatility of the relationship is visible, it is brewing tension.

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