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

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"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, of which two young girls deceitfully accused a slave, Tituba of witchery. As a result callous accusations flew from every direction from that town resulting in almost two dozen innocent men and women hanged and hundreds jailed. ...read more.


The two main characters in the extract are Abigail Williams and Rev Parris. Abigail is a seventeen-year-old niece of Rev. Parris. She is malicious, caniving and a vengeful girl, who in an attempt to protect herself from punishment, instigates the Salem Witch trials and leads the charge of accusations. We see in the excerpt, that Abigail has no real regret of conjuring up spirits and will persevere to any lengths to discharge her name of witchcraft. She uses techniques such as sympathy, and acting to address the matter brought up by Rev. Parris. These two techniques are emphasised throughout the play during Abigail's time in court and while talking to John Procter and the jury. Reverend Samuel Parris is depicted as weak, paranoid and suspicious in the extract. He instigates the witchcraft paranoia when he finds his daughter and niece dancing in the woods with several other girls. ...read more.


The 'Red Scare' was result of Senator McCarthy wanting to receive public attention, through an anti-Soviet Campaign searches for people working among 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 supposed communists were a mere attempt to increase Senator McCarthy's political base. But just like Abigail Williams, his grapple of 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 one 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 the audience Moneeb AHMAD ...read more.

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