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How Does Miller Create Interest in Act Three, the Dramatic Climax Of The Crucible?

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Introduction

How Does Miller Create Interest in Act Three, the Dramatic Climax Of "The Crucible"? In Act Three of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", tension rises in the courtroom of Salem as John Proctor, Giles and Francis strive to save the lives and respect of their wives. As the trials progress, the audience concentrate more on certain individuals and how they struggle to maintain power and authority in the courtroom. Miller called his play "The Crucible" because a crucible is a container in which metals are heated to extract the pure element from dross or impurities. In Act 3, John Proctor is tested in a life threatening ordeal and his choice of death rather than betrayal of his conscience shows us that he too has come through the fire to be purified. This creates interest because the comparison of Proctor's situation and going through fire to be purified is powerful. 'Going through fire' emphasises on the pain he must suffer. The audience sympathise for his pain and suffering and so they are interested in Act 3 to see the consequences of the dramatic climax. The main focus of Act 3 has to do with determining who will define innocence and guilt. Proctor makes one audacious gamble for this authority by finally overcoming his desire to protect his reputation, exposing an inner secret sin. He hopes to replace his wife's blame with his own guilt and bring Abigail down as well in the process. He reveals his private life to examination, hoping to gain some authority, but he does not realise that the competition is high, people may show more energy in the delivery and presentation of their speech. ...read more.

Middle

This interests the audience as there is a change of behaviour within a character. Characters are at their upmost desperation for innocence and reputation, the matter of what is at stake and how do characters react really indulges itself into the drama. Death is at stake and characters are becoming more and more desperate progressing through the scene. Since the storyline is based upon witch hunting in Salem, the girls who are shown to be witches act out in an eccentric manner. The hysteria of the girls is shown dramatic as it displays what separates the sane from the insane and really engages the interest of the audience. Being set in a courtroom would mean that character interaction is shown from all angles. There is power to be shifted from someone who is higher in authority, and has more arguments to clear themselves from any kind misjudgement to someone who is unable yet desperate to defend themselves. The juxtaposition between tension and relief is present throughout most of Act 3 e.g. as questions may raise awareness and the answers may release relief: A roaring goes up from the people HATHORNE'S VOICE Arrest him, Excellency! GILES' VOICE I have evidence. Why will you not hear my evidence? Since this roaring has become more of a silence to hear what Giles may have to say about his evidence shows the comparison of the courtroom being aggressive (tension) to a calmer yet concentrated atmosphere (relief). What is at stake and how do the characters react? ...read more.

Conclusion

The same terror, which disturbed Salem citizens in the spring of 1692, was paralysing the United States. Actors were replacing Salem citizens, Communists were replacing witches, and Danforth turned over his court to McCarthy and the HUAC. One plot made way to another. Lucifer must have joined Karl Marx. Evidence was accepted during 1692's trials, and so were allegations during McCarthy's hearings. Arthur Miller also wrote: "The old friend of a blacklisted person crossed the street to avoid being seen talking to him", the same way as Giles Corey did not dare to name other names, since his wife was now in jail because he gave her name. At the time that the play was produced (1953), the audience would have found it easier to relate to the play because of the events happening at the time made for obvious comparisons between 'The Crucible' and 'McCarthyism'. This also creates major interest, as it was related to the political situation at the time. However nowadays, the audience would still be interested as 'McCarthyism' was a part of history. "The Crucible" is still a popular play and is largely performed in countries where there is a strong feeling of political oppression because the play helps to acknowledge and release an audience's feelings of fear and anger. To conclude of Act 3, my own personal opinion on the most dramatic part would be the climax, "God is dead", because Proctor is shown as a heroic character to say something so simple yet effective at the time when religion really did matter. It is his realisation he has failed at his moment of crisis. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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