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Explain how Arthur Miller creates dramatic tension in the yellow bird scene in the crucible

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Introduction

How does Miller create Tension in the Yellow Bird Scene? The Crucible is set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It starts when Parris, the local- and rather unpopular- reverend in Salem discovers his daughter Betty, niece Abigail and many other young women from the village dancing and chanting in the forest, led by his slave Tituba. Tituba is from the West Indies, so has a set of traditions and beliefs which seem very alien to the Puritan citizens of Salem. When Betty and another girl involved in the dancing don't wake up the next day, and just lie in a trance-like state, there are rumours of witchcraft afoot. With the arrival of Hale, an open- minded but overly righteous witch- hunter, Abby and Tituba claim to have been possessed by the spirits of 'witches' in Salem. Abby, along with some other girls, start accusing many people. Those who confess to devil worship are saved; those who do not are charged to be hanged. In court, the girls faint, and claim to have terrible pains and see horrific visions, all induced by the 'witch' on trial. Their tactics are powerful, so those conducting the proceedings do not really consider they may be faking. ...read more.

Middle

However, he feels he has to save the others who have been charged as well. To Danforth, this seems to suggest Proctor is just trying to 'undermine the court' rather than just save his wife, as he initially claimed. To us, it is evidence of Proctor's bravery and conscience. Hale, who has in the past acted quite righteously and tried to root out witches, finally sees that Abby may be lying. He decides to support Proctor, which might put pressure on Danforth to accept that some of the condemnations were untrue. If Danforth admits this, however, he will be publicly disgraced, as he will be seen as responsible for the deaths of many innocent citizens, based on juvenile, callous accusation. The climax of the scene is brought about by Abby's quick- thinking. She is relieved when Elizabeth lies about the affair, and sees the moment as her chance to turn the situation to her favour. She, and subsequently the other girls, claim to see a 'yellow bird', possessed by the spirit of Mary Warren. Abby does this to pressurise Mary into lying again, to avoid being condemned as a witch. The scene becomes highly charged as Proctor and the others struggle to convince Danforth the girls are faking, Abby becomes more ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly, there are times when Hale's response gives hope. He admits to always having had doubts about Abby. However, we lose hope when Danforth orders that those who signed Giles' petitions must all be arrested, when Abby convincingly protests her innocence, and when the girls claim to be affected by witchcraft. Proctor's dramatic revelation of his adultery with Abby looks at one point as if it may sway Danforth, but our hopes are dashed when Elizabeth denies he is a lecher, believing she is doing so in his best interests. When Mary is won over by Abby, we see that Abby has decisively triumphed. After the drama of the girls' hysteria, we are left feeling deflated. To conclude, Miller uses a variety of tactics to create tension. He uses theatre techniques like dramatic irony to do so. The conflicting characters are also a major contributor. The scene is a battle between good and evil, and the constantly changing winning side makes us tense. There are moments where everything looks hopeful but then the evidence is turned around to go against what it proves. ?? ?? ?? ?? How does Miller create Tension in the Yellow Bird Scene? ...read more.

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