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

Explore key moments of tension within Act 2 and 3 of "The Crucible". How does Miller convey the conflict between characters of the Salem Community?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore key moments of tension within Act 2 and 3 of "The Crucible". How does Miller convey the conflict between characters of the Salem Community? Throughout "The Crucible", conspiracy and lies lead to the corruption and downfall of the 17th century Salem community. From the title it is evident that this pious society is a "crucible" or a vessel filled with boiling, bubbling characters waiting to react at any moment. Arthur Miller's own experiences of the 1950s McCarthy witch trials, where individuals were accused of being Communists, inspired him to write the play and he is able to provide a realistic insight into the pain and suffering certain characters faced as a result of the accusations. In the God-fearing community of Salem, hysteria runs out of control and the malicious lies of certain characters destroy lives. Characters become more suspicious of each other and anxiety is paramount for those characters that stand accused. Through the use of stage directions, Miller highlights the tension between the Proctors within their struggling marriage. The turmoil within the marriage may be viewed as a microcosm of the greater conflict that exists in Salem as a whole; they no longer feel comfortable with each other as they try in vain to rebuild their marriage. ...read more.

Middle

By having Abigail at the centre of the accusations, Miller is creating more suffering for Elizabeth as Abigail is the centre of attention. Elizabeth's faith suffers because she constantly emphasises her own insecurities. When Abigail's name is mentioned tension between the couple escalates and Miller reveals a role reversal whereby Elizabeth becomes infuriated with her husband, "John you are not open with me. You saw her with a crowd, you said." Elizabeth interprets what John says as he has been alone with Abigail - breaching her trust. She appears to be determined and forthright, speaking her mind, whereas John looks to be the inferior character; he knows he has little defence against the affair, "Spare me! You forget nothin' and forgive nothin' Miller's use of a long speech at this point in the play allows John to try and justify himself, however, his guilt is clearly evident. John's "anger is rising" because he knows he is at fault and the "violent undertone" reinforces this idea as he battles with his conscience and Elizabeth. Miller presents the court officials to show the audience the seriousness of the accusations. Miller shows emotion in Cheever and Herrick and the audience can tell they know what they are doing to Elizabeth is wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

I have known her. The climax of the scene is when Elizabeth enters the courtroom. Miller's use of disjointed and stilted speeches, is coupled with frequent pauses, indicating the character's nervousness, Elizabeth: Your Honour, I - in that time I were sick. And I - my husband is a good and righteous man... Under such pressure it is understandable that characters will break down. Yet Elizabeth's resolve to remain loyal to her husband ironically sees her denounce him to a hushed and vigilant courtroom, Elizabeth: (faintly) No, sir Danforth: Remove her, Marshal. The dramatic effect of her short response has a significant impact on the audience as we realise that she has unintentionally sealed her husband's fate. It is perhaps symbolic that when Miller closes the door on Elizabeth's exit the audience realise that with regret realise that the door has been closed on any hope of an appeal from John. Through his clever use of stage directions Miller has successfully shown tension and friction between characters. The Proctors' broken marriage is communicated using stilted dialogue and anxious body language. Miller uses the physical proximity of characters to indicate the difficulties within their relationships and heighten the vulnerability of individuals during Danforth's rigorous interrogations. The society of Salem that Miller portrays is one which relied on the church's teachings. Ultimately, it is the misinterpretation of characters' desires for personal gain and power that lead to nobody being safe from the witch trials. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Discuss the role that grudges and rivalries play within The Crucible by Arthur Miller

    Reverend Parris demands a lot of respect that he thinks he deserves, "I want a mark of confidence, is all! I am your third preacher in seven years. I do not wish to be put out like the cat whenever some majority feels the whim.

  2. How Does Miller convey his Message through 'The Crucible'?

    As this medical phenomenon had no apparent rational, scientific explanation at that time, many looked to the devil for clarification. The children were probably acting in a way that we would now describe as 'psychosomatic', a behavioural disorder with apparently inexplicable symptoms, a result of a traumatic experience.

  1. In the Crucible, Arthur Miller shows us how fear and suspicion can destroy a ...

    Conniving and scheming to gain more land for their crops although they 'always yield a bad harvest.' The dancing and the contents of the little pot (The Crucible - hence the title of the play) seem to fuel the rumours, lies and tragedy of Salem.

  2. Using both Act 2 and Act 4, explore the relationship between John and Elizabeth. ...

    women had a set role in society and were seen as unequal to men, and furthermore were far less likely to be trusted over a man. What makes this scene so stunning is that Abigail Williams, a female orphan barely above the black slave Tituba in the social hierarchy of

  1. How does the character and language of Abigail Williams contribute to the dramatic effect ...

    John says I would rather die than my name live in shame with my name on the church door. At the end of the act John Proctor was hung. In conclusion the dramatic effect that Abigail Williams brings is extremely important to give 'The Crucible' the ongoing tension that is created.

  2. The Crucible - Act 2 from Reverend Hale’s entry to his exit.

    Abigail and her disciples have achieved an extremely unusual level of power and authority for young, unmarried girls in a Puritan community. They can destroy the lives of others with a mere accusation, and even the wealthy and influential are not safe.

  1. The Crucible - Power and Manipulation

    Danforth became ignorant to justice and chose to abuse his power to overcome the witch trials; eventually however, he did not succeed in doing so. Act Four: Proctor's Confession Proctor: I want my life. Hathorne: (electrified, surprised): You'll confess yourself?

  2. How Does Arthur Miller Present The Characters of Abigail and Elizabeth and Shape Our ...

    Yet, it is obvious from the beginning that Miller does not want to present Abigail as an innocent and harm free girl to his audience and so allows his characters to hint of past events without exactly telling his audience full details displaying her deceitful and untrustworthy traits.

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