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How Does Miller achieve emotional intensity at the end of Act one and the beginning of Act two.

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Introduction

How Does Miller achieve 'emotional intensity' at the end of Act one and the beginning of Act two. The Crucible is a highly emotional play, especially at the end of Act One and beginning of Act Two. Arthur Miller integrates many dramatic techniques including: interesting poignant characters, a great deal of dramatic and literacy devices, powerful language and themes of envy, power, hysteria and dignity. Miller also draws upon contextual significance; he uses the Salem witch trials as an allegory for the communist trials of McCarthyism. These techniques contribute to the overall emotional intensity at the end of Act One and the beginning of Act Two. The Crucible can be read by different audiences in varying ways; the original audience would have been more emotionally involved therefore finding it more emotionally intense. Nowadays, the audience may be more detached from the story finding it less emotionally intense. The Salem witch trials in The Crucible can be seen as a parallel to the McCarthyism era in which the play was written. To that audience many things that an audience today may not notice, would be deeply significant and emotional. The first similarity between the two eras is the way that the characters accuse other people of being involved with the devil to save themselves from punishment. This happens when Abigail says ' I saw Goody Sibber with the devil'. Abigail is one of the many characters who is thought to be a witch, she then accuses someone else as being a witch thus, saving herself. ...read more.

Middle

In the beginning of Act Two there is an uncomfortable silence with an awkward feeling, which evokes different emotions from the previous act. Elizabeth is seems wary of John and constantly tries to impress him. This is shown when she says 'I hurt my heart out to strip her, poor rabbit' and 'I took great care she's tender?' Her nervousness around him is shown by stage directions such as, 'it is as though she would speak but cannot' and we get 'a sense of their separation'. This makes us sombre at the fact that she really cares and loves John although the feelings may not be mutual. This also gives us background that is necessary for later emotional intensity at the end of the play. At this stage we are encouraged to feel sympathy for Elizabeth and long for their relationship to work out. John in this scene appears to be aggressive which may aggravate the audience and although he later redeems himself by dying for his wife, it allows the audience to see that he is not perfect, hence making him easier to relate with. The aggressiveness is shown by 'angering', 'with a violent undertone' and 'with solemn warning'. He also 'laughs bitterly' at her. Although later in the play we find him to be a highly dignified, thoughtful and caring man in this scene we are led to believe he is not. The beliefs we hold about these characters and our feelings towards them, as well as the characters emotions lead to the overall development of emotional intensity, due to Miller's use of interesting and thought provoking characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows she is working for the court in order to gain power. Elizabeth would like to have power over Proctor. Power is often exploited in the western world, The Crucible shows that people made this same mistake in Salem. Power is an extremely sensitive theme able to evoke deep emotions. The second theme is hysteria, the girls are completely hysterical at the end of Act one this is linked to power as some think that the use of hysteria can help gain power. The hysteria moves the audience and keeps them deeply involved in the play. The final theme is dignity, which has been lost throughout the play up until the last part of the play where proctor gains a great deal of respect, and dignity. In Act one Tituba has her dignity stolen, from her as does Abigail and the other girls. In Act Two John loses his dignity when he refuses to tell the court about Abigail. Themes play a major part in maintaining emotional intensity at the end of Act One and the beginning of Act Two. It is clear that The Crucible is emotionally intense at the end of Act One and beginning of Act Two. Miller creates this intensity by employing dramatic techniques and drawing upon contextual significance to present two intense, but contrasting scenes. Even though the original audience would have found it emotional on different scales, it is obvious that all audiences would find it emotionally intense to some extent. Miller achieved emotional intensity by his use of dramatic techniques, interesting characters, allegorical significance and emotive themes. ...read more.

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