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

    Betty does not stir. His attention is drawn to the vigilant Abigail. He is quite severe towards Abigail and his eyes 'narrow.' The atmosphere becomes oppressive. Facts are revealed gradually and Parris admits he saw a kettle in the grass where they were dancing.

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

    Abigail believes she has reason to hope John will come for her, 'I saw your face when she put me out, and you loved me then and you do now!' But John is deeply repentant of his sins and still clearly loves his wife.

  1. Arthur Miller states that Abigail Williams is the prime mover in the Salem hysteria. ...

    It proves that the majority of people believe in what there told by there elected authority, capitalists say communism is bad; they then go round destroying the life's of those who challenge them. In Salem they say all you must have in your life is church and marriage people that try a devoid from their rules e.g.

  2. Saving Private Ryan

    horror of what they had just witnessed and makes them not become immune to the film and the harsh realities.

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

    Danforth can also represent the Committee as to try and keep himself safe and the community to a certain extent, he invaded the privacy of others with no reason to do so such as asking Francis and Giles of the names who which signed the petition for their respective wives (page 75).

  2. How Does Miller Create Interest in Act Three, the Dramatic Climax Of The Crucible?

    The fact that Giles is cut off by Danforth before even managing to finish his sentence, shows that more power is on Danforth's side whilst Giles is beginning to plead for freedom. It also shows that the pace of speech may be very quick as everyone is determined to get their message across.

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