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

Explore how Arthur Miller builds up tension towards hysteria in act 3 of The Crucible.

Extracts from this document...


The Crucible Coursework Explore how Arthur Miller builds up tension towards hysteria in act 3: The Crucible is a book following the mass hysteria which resulted in the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials. The book follows a group of key characters caught up in the persecution. Act three focuses on the persecution of Martha Corey. The act is set in a courtroom and begins with an empty stage; you can hear the proceedings through a partition. This is a good device as it makes the audience pay attention because they have to listen to the actors. Early on in the proceedings Hathorne asks a question that leads Martha Corey to answer with "I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is." Hathorne then catches her out by asking " How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?" this is a very clever comeback which builds tension as it begins the persuasion of the court that Martha Corey is actually a witch. ...read more.


A huge twist in the story is unveiled on page 70 as Francis enters the court with alleged evidence that the girls, who began the whole hysteria with the accusations or Tituba, are frauds. After this evidence is introduced Hathorne becomes enraged and shouts "This is contempt, sir, contempt!" This is an indication that tension is building as even Judge Hathorne is becoming aggressive and angry. Later on page 70 John Proctor enters holding Mary Warren claiming that she wishes to tell the truth of the girls deceit. This adds great amounts of tension as the reader knows that the girls are deceiving everyone and we are under suspense wondering whether or not the truth will at last be known. This may add to hysteria as some of the townspeople could be lead to believe that Mary Warren is on the side of the Devil and is defending the 'Witches'. On page 71 line 16 Danforth says "Do you know, Mr Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through these children?" ...read more.


This is all a very tense moment as you once again are under the hope that the girls will be found to be frauds, however once again your hope is in vein. Lastly and quite possibly the most hysterical moment in the entire act is when the girls pretend that Mary Warren uses her spirit to attack them. Abigail leads the group into pretending Mary Warren's spirit has taken the shape of a bird and is intent on tearing away Abigail's face because of envy. Abigail builds the entire group into a hysterical chant. During this hysterical chant Mr. Danforth continues to interrogate them asking if they have ever compacted with the devil, they deny it. The suspense is at boiling point and Mary Warren is almost certain to hang. This part of the Act is the utmost high point of the hysteria and Arthur Miller has cleverly used the short bursts of speech in order to build up the franticness. The Act ends this way with many people shouting and screaming at one another. Miller has cleverly left it at this high point and let the tension dip at the beginning of the next act. ...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. The Crucible - review of Act 3 pages 83-96.

    Proctor shouts 'Elizabeth I have confessed it' but judge Danforth wants to here no more and has Elizabeth removed. Hale despite all this still believes Proctor and insists 'it was a natural lie to tell.' This is Elizabeths weak point she has lied to save Proctors life.

  2. The Crucible Coursework by Arthur Miller

    supposedly she was meant t be ill, and also why is she here in the first place. We also know that Danforth is in two minds because Mary turning up to the court room, either shows that she is very brave, or just stupid to lie to such a powerful judge.

  1. How does Miller use dramatic tension to explore the dangers of injustice ad hysteria ...

    John Proctor is first introduced to the audience, and is left alone with Abigail for several tense minutes. When John enters the room in which the girls, Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, and Abigail Williams have been discussing the current situation, the girls reactions alone are enough to portray Proctor as a powerful, influential man in the village.

  2. Focusing on Act 3, to what extent is 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller an ...

    The way they dress and act. In the actual film most of the men are seen wearing black clothes, this may put forward that Salem is a holy religious society and believe very strongly in Christianity. If you take Judge Danforth, he adopts a blinkered attitude and refuses to use common sense and logic in dealing with these cases.

  1. Consider how Arthur Miller makes Act 3 of 'The Crucible' so dramatic.

    The scene's pace then decelerates, until the climax of the play when Tituba, Betty and Abigail become hysterical and begin to chant names of those who have allegedly committed witchcraft. Act 2 begins at a slow pace, but the tension in the Proctor's farmstead is electric, as one would say, "the silence speaks volumes".

  2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Discuss how Miller builds up the dramatic tension ...

    of communists present in the American government, in Hollywood and in most walks of life. He ruined thousands of people's livelihoods, but never had any evidence against anyone. This terrible time in the 1920's to 40's is what Miller wants to really reflect upon in his play.

  1. How does Miller use the development of characters and their interaction with others to ...

    Proctor and Betty Parris the daughter of Reverend Samuel Parris amongst other girls, were caught dancing in the woods, with West Indian slave Tituba. After being caught by Reverend Parris, the girls claim Tituba had bewitched them and led them into the forest.

  2. Consider how Miller creates and maintains tension in Act 3 of The Crucible?

    Abigail quickly gets her out of a tight situation by creating a yellow bird. This quick creation has taken the attention away from her and caused uproar in the room.

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