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Explore The Dramatic Effects Used By Miller In ‘The Crucible’

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Introduction

(note: to achieve top grades also put in quotations and analyse them, this does not contain them but would achieve a B without them, when it should only get a G without quotes) Explore The Dramatic Effects Used By Miller In 'The Crucible' Arthur Miller was born in 1915 and was therefore only 14 when the wall street crash occurred, this obviously affected his life in a major way. His plays are often centralised upon contemporary society and the various problems that face it, which is why, at first sight, 'The Crucible' appears to be a bit 'off the track', with it being set 250 years previous to the time in which it is written. It is based around the Salem Witchtrials of the 17th Century. However, the play is in fact an oblique comment on the mass hysteria which swept America concerning a huge fear, Communism. America is a right-wing society, and adopts many capitalist attitudes towards life, which is why communism was seen as a massive threat to American society, the 'American Dream'. The 'dream' where if you lived in America, you would find great wealth and prosper, with the 'perfect' family and a high quality of life. Rich, upper and middle class citizens of America feared the far left extremists because the thought of a communist state being established in America and distributing their wealth evenly among the population horrified them, that it would shatter their American Dream. ...read more.

Middle

Miller has said that it was Abigail's role in the events of the play that awakened his interest in the whole story, however, his treatment of her is controlled although is not dispassionate in any way. She is a sensual adolescent and she is very flattered by Proctors attention to her while at the same time tries to disguise it. Abigail has many motives for causing the trouble that she does, one of which is her hostility towards Elizabeth, John Proctors wife, but this is by no means her only motive. A high spirited sense of mischief and the way which she controls her friends gives her enjoyment and is influential and although the point is not stressed, the violent nature of her parents deaths have unsettled her. Abigail's actions are also intriguing, right from act 1 she is causing a stir in Salem, when Betty awakens and cries out, Abigail tries to bully and threaten them into keeping quiet, later in this act, when Tituba and Abigail are being interrogated, she starts calling out names of devil worshippers. In act 2 we find out more about Abigail's relationship with the Proctors, they discuss revealing that Abigail is a fraud and reveal how she was thrown out when Elizabeth found out about her affair with John. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another question that the audience is constantly asking is whether Betty is pretending or not. Once more, we are kept in doubt, Miller wants to audience to enter the spirit of the play to create theatrical tension, this a very theatrical element. Miller keeps our attention focused on the build-up of tension between Proctor and Abigail. The audience is taken by surprise when the focus on the Proctors turns to the doom of John Proctor and the play is strengthened at the very last minute by Proctors actions. In conclusion, (minus the conclusion drawn from the end of the play due to absence) the play is a 'roller coaster ride' of emotions for the audience. Miller takes the audience on this ride by making them experience, hatred, love, confusion and intrigue by using the characters as different tools. The audience are to have mixed feelings for certain characters, some members of the audience do not like Proctor for his adultery, others give him sympathy come the end of the play in the dramatic finale. The play in its entirety is an oblique comment on the current (1960's) situation in America, of course, it was not simply that, it has emotions and 'real' characters. It is an intricate web of relationships and hidden priorities from each character, which together makes for a complex, but encapsulating play. ...read more.

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