• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Miller create tension in "the Crucible"? Analyse two episodes and evaluate Miller's success.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Vicki Harris 10z How does Miller create tension in "the Crucible"? Analyse two episodes and evaluate Miller's success. Written by Arthur Miller in the early 1950's, "The Crucible" notes the story of the quiet town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. As the play progresses, a major witch hunt takes place after a group of young girls claim to have danced with the Devil. Although the play is fictional, Miller based it on real people and events documented in records made after the actual witch hunts took place, at around the time the play was set it. I have chosen to analyse the conversation in Act 1, between Abigail and John where she attempts to entice him back to her, however John is adamant he will not be drawn in by her charms and appears to not be tempted. I shall also analyse the section of Act 4 where John Proctor 'confesses' to partaking in witchcraft, but then changes his mind after realising he values his morals more than his life. The first episode begins with Betty in bead and, after supposedly dancing with the Devil; she is in an apparent trance-like sleep. At the same time, John and Abigail are talking about their affair, something that took place before the play began. ...read more.

Middle

The audience would probably presume the same sort of scenario, or something that has grown from what happened here, would be played out at a later point in the story. This episode uses mainly vocal techniques, volume, language, and pace, to create variations in tension. There is also a single, carefully placed, moment of harsh physical contact that helps in creating a huge surge in tension in the last moments of the episode. The second episode takes place in Act 4, where John Proctor says he will confess to dealing with the Devil in order to save his life, only to revoke this confession when he realises he would rather die with a clear conscience than live thanks to a false declaration of guilt. This is the climax of the entire play and, as such, contains many techniques to subtly create tension. The main technique, evident throughout the confession episode, is dramatic irony. We see John Proctor, a seemingly strong character who is very stuck to his morals, prepared to give a confession in order to save his life, when we know that he and all the other people accused of witchcraft are actually innocent. This means that the whole way through this part of the play, tension is felt because the audience are aware of the massive injustice taking place on the stage, however they have no powers to stop it. ...read more.

Conclusion

These people were communists, and Arthur Miller saw writing this play as a good way of provoking peoples thoughts on the matter. He hoped it would make them see that these things didn't exist - at least the threat from them didn't - and he hoped people would watch his play, go home and see the similarities between what went on in Salem in 1692 and what was going on in the present day of early day 1950's. Miller wanted people to make a stand against the people trying to 'dispose' of the communists and saw writing a play as a good way of getting an otherwise difficult to explain point across. To conclude, Miller uses many techniques, ranging from simple variations in volume, interrupting lines and changing the pace of a conversation to more obvious things such as physical contact in order to create, maintain and vary tension levels. I think Arthur Miller has used a good mixture of different techniques, some subtle, some more blatant, to create a play, and in particular the two episodes I have chosen, in which I can feel the tension. Surely, the best way that I can evaluate his success is upon how much tension I felt when watching the play, and that was a great amount. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. How Does Arthur Miller use Theatrical Techniques and Dramatic Devises to Create and Sustain ...

    This might have the effect of generating sympathy from the audience for both Elizabeth and John. It also adds to the build up of tension creating an expectant atmosphere. Arthur Miller is very good at making the audience feel very involved.

  2. The Crucible - Power and Manipulation

    Tituba, whose status is lower than that of anyone else in the play by virtue of the fact that she is black, manages to deflect blame of herself by confessing apologetically and then condemning others who she claimed were also in touch with the devil.

  1. The Crucible - "How does MIller create tension in Act 1

    Tension is also created when Tituba, "a negro slave girl" enters the scene and she is "already taking a step backwards". This suggests to the audience that Tituba will play a major role in the play and that she has done wrong which the audience does not know about but they eagerly anticipate what will happen.

  2. Dramatic tension is created by Miller throughout the Crucible in many ways. Straightaway, the ...

    This is an almost impossible statement to reply to; it showed how unfair the court system was. Miller uses stagecraft to create dramatic tension again when Elizabeth is called in court to prove that Abigail is a whore and whilst she has entered the court room Danforth orders John Proctor

  1. All My Sons - How does Miller create dramatic tension in this extract from ...

    So the focus of the audience is now on Chris and Keller only, therefore they are expecting some sort of disagreement between them. More curiosity is driven from the audience when Miller brings about Ann's voice to interrupt Chris and Keller's conversation.

  2. By What means does Miller create a sense of Expectations within his audience in ...

    And So I ---waited here''. This quotation shows how much Alfieri thinks of Eddie and how much he cares. All he wants is to keep Eddie safe and he is telling him to stay away from danger. Finally a quotation to show foreshadowing is ''wondrously'' he's practically blond''.

  1. How does Arthur Miller use the climax of act 1 to create tension for ...

    this or what course of action she will take if she does. She protests disbelief but is clearly shaken until Beatrice reassures her. We can tell that she trusts Beatrice on this though, as Catherine is shown to say: "All right" and "Ok" as if to agree with Beatrice's views.

  2. How does Miller build up tension in Act 1 of the Crucible?

    Parris: "Out of my sight, out of my..." Parris is shouting at Tituba because he is angry and confused about what has happened to his daughter and what had been going on in the woods that night. Tituba is taken back by Parris's shouting, as she seems only to be concerned about little Betty.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work