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Explore the dramatic effect of the final scene from 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller. Describe how the scene should be acted and analyse the responses actors might expect from an audience.

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Introduction

Explore the dramatic effect of the final scene from 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller. Describe how the scene should be acted and analyse the responses actors might expect from an audience. The Crucible was written in 1953 at the time when Senator Mc Carthy was looking for right wing dissidents who were communists. The Crucible was based in Salem 1692 after certain events that were the result of a group of girls dabbling in the supernatural at the time when people believed in the existence of the Devil that had led to mass hysteria, fear and suspicion were people were hanged and jailed. Miller chose to write his play based on this subject partly because e had always found this appalling episode in the American history fascinating, but also because he wanted to show what was going on in America 1940's and 1950's. This was a time when the relations between the USA and Russia (then a communist state) were very strained and many and many Americans believed that communists who threatened the American way of life surrounded them. Then after Miller read the book 'The Devil in Massachusetts' he started to see similarities between 1950's America and Salem 1690's. ...read more.

Middle

The characters speak using old-fashioned words that are not really used these days 'pray, leave them, Excellency'. I think that Miller does this to try and make the play seem authentic and to get a sense of the characters beliefs and attitudes. The characters speak with American accents. Most of the characters speak the same but the differences are the way each individual expresses their speech. For example Danforth speaks for everyone as he has a high status in Salem and therefore talk on behalf of other people 'Pray be at your ease, we come not for your life. We..' But on the other hand Elizabeth talks quietly and only on her behalf 'I promise nothing, let me speak with him' and 'it grows'. I feel that Elizabeth speaks like this because of the situation she is in; she is being accused of a witch. If we look at John Proctor he is concerned about others, 'there is no word of the boys?' he talks directly as he has the power to speak when he wants. He also wants to get straight to the point as he is going through a religious crisis; he wants to know whether to confess in the eyes of God or to tell the truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of the final scene there was a drum roll to represent the hanging of Proctor, Rebecca and Martha Corey. The tension at this point is already at a high point and I feel the drum roll was a very good way of sustaining it. Overall I feel the tension in the final scene is dramatically effective. At the end of the play the audience are left feeling very tense, this made the play very effective for me. I feel Miller had the objective to create lots of tension and dramatic events during the play. If this weren't one of his objectives to achieve in the play I feel the play wouldn't have been authentic. I feel Miller was very successful in creating tension and the high and low points made the play more exciting. I feel that the inspiration of the play was very cleverly done. Although I do feel that if the parallels between America and Salem were not pointed out for me I would not have noticed them. But I think it was a very clever device and made me more interested in the play because once I knew the similarities I felt it had more depth to it and was based on true situations. Amy Humphrey ...read more.

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