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

"Examine the dramatic significance of this extract from The Crucible, showing its importance in relation to the play as a whole".

Extracts from this document...


"Examine the dramatic significance of this extract from The Crucible, showing its importance in relation To the play as a whole" Throughout the history of mankind, the misapplication of power, marring of souls has been a part of life. Human emotion is a major factor in prejudice, politics and persecution in modern day. Persecution can be defined in many ways, but no matter how it is defined it is a tragic event. The Crucible is a play set in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, written by Arthur Miller in 1953. It is based on the calamitous, witch trials of Salem, at which two young girls deceitfully accused a slave, Tituba of witchery. As a result callous accusations flew from every direction in the town resulting in almost two-dozen innocent men and women hanged and many more jailed. The extract I am studying lays the foundations for the rest of the play, upon which the story line is built on. It is in the first act and comprises the first three pages of the play. The excerpt shows the audience the first lies told in the play by Abigail "It were a sport, uncle" Betty Parris is still unconscious and is thought to be possessed by spirits. Abigail is denying any suspicion of her conjuring spirits. She is opposing against her uncle, saying he has mistaken himself of what he saw in the forest, ' You mistake yourself uncle.' ...read more.


One character in particular, which is not mentioned in the extract, but is an influential character in the play is John Procter. I feel Miller uses The Crucible to express his views on what was happening in America when the play was written in 1950's. The 'Red Scare' was result of Senator McCarthy wanting to receive public attention, through an anti-Soviet Campaign which searched for people working among others that believed in communist views or someone who might know of such a person became a common act. This crusade itself was based upon non-existent claims that some workers were communists. The hunting down and persecuting of supposed communists were a mere attempt to increase Senator McCarthy's political base. But just like Abigail Williams, his grip on the situation soon crumbled, leaving him disturbed and dishonoured. Arthur Miller engages the audience to a large extent, by toying with their emotions and allowing the audience to think about historical context of the play. For example at the end of each act Miller draws the curtain on the girls' firing frenzy and false accusations of witchcraft against many women in Salem. Leaving the audience with climax at the end of each act enhances the play to be like a soap opera. This ensures that the audience gets deeper and deeper into the storyline. I feel, for a director to produce this play on stage is a huge task. ...read more.


This is all apart of the delusion of making the play look verisimilistic, as the audience will not only get increased interest in the play, but they will also be able to visualise the historical context of which the play is set in. In conclusion I feel that this extract does give us an insight on the play itself. Several significant themes emerge early in the play. One of these that Miller develops throughout the act is the capability for gossip and rumours to disseminate throughout the close-knit society of Salem. Miller establishes that Salem is a society in which little information is considered private; there is no line between public and private conduct, for all information is open to suspicion and question. This correlates to the McCarthy hearings, which probed into the lives of the suspected communists for evidence of their anti-American activity, no matter the actual relevance. A second theme that Miller establishes is the ability of persons to choose whichever position suits their self-interest. Abigail Williams shows the ability to affirm or deny any charge against her, based entirely on whether it serves her needs, while Tituba, when charged with witchcraft, denies it only until she realises that admitting to the crime will save her from further punishment and that accusing others will shift the blame elsewhere. The shift of blame from one character to another will be a recurring plot point, as few characters will accept the consequences of their actions or directly confront the charges levelled against them. Moneeb AHMAD ...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. What is the significance of the title: The crucible?

    Many people where unhappy, bored and resented the present way of life. If the people hadn't been so restricted they probably would never have dabbled in minor witchcraft in the first place. Salem therefore needed to be purified of the unfairness and all the wrong present in there society.

  2. Analyse the ways in which the themes of intimidation and persecution are presented in ...

    She is afraid of her husband, but in 1953 men dominated women, on the other hand Elizabeth has some power as John had done something bad. Elizabeth loses faith in John, but he won't have it, "Women" John has to remind Elizabeth whose boss.

  1. Crucible Essay - What is the dramatic significance of Act 2 to the play ...

    that Goody Osburn will hang and that Sarah Good will not as she confessed to 'making a compact with Lucifer'. As John hears this news his guilt (shown by anger) grows, he argues with Mary over whether or not she can return to the witch trials.

  2. How does Miller capture and maintain the audience's interest in The Crucible?

    Overall, we can see that Miller presents him as an honourable man, aware of his own faults and willingness to accept the consequences of his actions. Miller's portrayal of Proctor arouses our sympathy, and we watch his fate in anger.

  1. Examine the end of act one in 'The Crucible.' Consider its importance of this ...

    Strangely however, Hales words are na�ve because there are many people within the village who are better than the Minister. Hale uses these words as alleviation. Hale believes it is more of a conquest for the Devil if he uses Parris's house to strike, Parris is somewhat flattered.

  2. To what extent can 'The Crucible' be viewed as a Classical Tragedy?

    fever died', 'Parris was voted from office' and most importantly, 'the power of theocracy in Massachusetts was broken'. Parris realises the consequences of the deaths of such people and protested at the hangings, 'You cannot hang this sort. There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night!'

  1. Choose one scene from "The Crucible" that you consider to be particularly dramatic, exciting ...

    She says, "She wants me dead, John, you know it!" This is really quite a strong accusation, but it epitomizes the way Elizabeth knows that Abigail still lusts for her husband and wants rid of her so she can have him for herself.

  2. How effective are the closing scenes in the play at resolving the conflict presented ...

    His views lack moral values as he finds it as blessing that if some one (being John) has dealing with the devil because it proves that he and the fellow judges were right and there is a underlying in flirtation with the devil.

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