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Explore Arthur Millers use of the stage directions in Act 1 of The Crucible to create drama and inform the audience about the nature of the society in Salem

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Introduction

Explore Arthur Miller's use of the stage directions in Act 1 of The Crucible to create drama and inform the audience about the nature of the society in Salem The Crucible is a play written in the early 1950's based on the truth of the accusations and trials of witchcraft in Salem around 1692. The main story line of the Crucible concentrates on a group of girls who are believed to have had an encounter with witchcraft. People of Salem were unable to find any evidence of medical illness, which these days we may class as 'psychosomatic', so they had no other option but to blame the dramatic change of behaviour of these girls on the Devil or Satan. This led to trials and convictions, hanging and jail sentences. Miller used real data and facts, from past convictions and court records to create characters based on the actual events. He admits however that very little was known of the characters; "They may therefore be taken as creations of my own, drawn to the best of my ability in conformity with their known behaviour". In The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses drama to capture the audience in an exciting play based on witchcraft and lies. Although history tells us that the events and the people were real, he develops and manipulates the facts and characters to suit his interpretation of events. ...read more.

Middle

He uses strong language to enlighten the audience, and to add a large amount of creativity and imagination into the opening stages of The Crucible. The beginning of the play starts with the place, date and who is involved, which straight away informs the audience. We are told it is spring, this can signify new life and new beginning but as the reader continues, they are in a dark room, with only a narrow window and a burning candle, which can be used to signify hope. But the gloomy room, bare of furniture also gives a dark, miserable mood. Words such as raw, un-mellowed and rough are used, which indicates un-cared for and violence, which yet again creates a sinister, yet mysterious atmosphere. As each character is introduced he uses the stage directions to define their movement, expression and feeling. The first character we are informed of is Reverend Parris whom is described as "discovered kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer". This explains a lot about the first character, and will adjust the audiences view on what to expect. When a person is kneeling, they are most commonly begging or in despair, which reflects the current mood of the character. Evidently, meaning clearly, would suggest he is not praying in silence, but out loud, in anguish or disorder. ...read more.

Conclusion

Influenced by the forgiveness given to Tituba, this is significant as she is setting an example and giving ideas to the girls. Abigail copies calling out accusations, as assumed and for example she shouts; "I saw Sarah Good with the devil!" ect. Scared and confused girls followed in Abigail's actions and began calling out accusations as well. The girls soon figure that lying, pretending and accusing others, will take the limelight from them and they will soon be seen as victims and witnesses of Satin. In conclusion, Arthur Miller's stage directions in the play, The Crucible, create drama and inform the audience about the nature of the society in Salem. He uses them effectively to create instant excitement and effect as well as defining the characters in detail. The characters are however Millers own creation and through his direction they add drama to the story. The language used in the play highlights the lack of communication in its simplicity and distances itself from the twenty first century. The people in Salem lived solely by their religion and were unable to accept anything that may defy their beliefs. It also showed the lies and deceit that people created to protect their own name and standing in society. Arthur Miller has managed to skilfully tell the story according to historic facts whilst adding his own portrayal of characters to attract audiences today. - 1 - By Gemma Lough 10x ...read more.

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