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How Does Arthur Miller Create Dramatic tension in Act Three of "The Crucible"

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How Does Arthur Miller Create Dramatic tension in Act Three of "The Crucible" The Crucible is a play about the witch trials of Salem, which took place in 1692. Arthur Miller creates a lot of dramatic tension in the courtroom scene of Act Three. Throughout this essay I will discuss how tension is built through melodrama, anti climax, character vulnerability, motives and positioning. Focus will be on language, stage directions and effect on the audience. Initially, I would like to review the melodrama in act three and examine how it creates tension and how this impacts upon the audience. The main part of the courtroom scene is based on melodrama and involves Abigail and all of the other girls, that have admitted seeing the devil, shout out about a yellow bird on the beams spreading its wings. Of course they had lied to everyone so that lots of people were accused of being witches and for using witchcraft against them in order that they could see the devil. ...read more.


Anti-climax creates audience reaction. The main anti-climax event was a when Abigail's secret was going to be revealed by her friend Mary, but in the end her secret remains hidden from the people of Salem. As the author builds the tension for the audience Abigail lies her way out of the situation by claiming that she can see the devil in the form of a yellow bird. The characters vulnerability is the next topic for discussion. A lot of the characters in this play are vulnerable because they are hiding secrets, for example John Proctor having a relationship with Abigail. Abigail is very upset when John Proctor is arrested for adultery because he had an affair with her whilst he was still married to Goody Proctor. When Goody found out Abigail, who was her maid, was kicked out of the house. ...read more.


The dramatic tension in this scene continues to build as she takes an inordinate amount of time before she decides to lie for her husband. Religious Ideology means that they all believe in a God and that he is to be honoured and obeyed. They all try to follow the Ten Commandments, for example thou shall not steal, thou shall not commit adultery and thou shall not lie. This Religious Ideology is an important factor in The Crucible as the judge and the villagers are torn between the religious law and common sense when it comes to establishing who is involved with the devil. This causes dramatic tension in that Abigail is breaking the law by lying, but the judge can't do anything about it as he has no proof. All he can do is obey the law. Arthur Miller uses these different techniques extremely successfully in Act Three. He builds up a lot of tension, which keeps the audience captivated on a number of emotional levels. By Johnathan Barker ...read more.

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