• 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 ...

    He tells them that Elizabeth knew about the affair and this is why his wife put Abigail out of the house. Danforth sends for Elizabeth and orders that no one is to speak to her and Proctor to turn his back.

  2. The Crucible - Power and Manipulation

    Overall, Parris wanted nothing more then money and power over the Salem Society. Parris abused his position as the church minister to ask the congregation for materialistic objects, such as wood for a fire. He expected the congregation to pay his way by using Christian beliefs to threaten them.

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

    It could also be evidence for racial minorities being treated differently. As Act one progress, we are introduced to one other main character: Abigail Williams. Abigail's introduction produces a lot of tension in the audience and continues to do so throughout the rest of Act one.

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

    The characters of the judges and Parris are irresponsible and corrupt; this causes mischief and tension in Salem. Miller portrays Parris as a week greedy man who tries to blacken a good man's name. Parris's ignorance is shown when he hides the vital evidence of him witnessing the girls dancing

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

    "Revered Parris I have laid seven babies unbaptised in the earth. Believe me, sir, you never saw more hearty babies born. And yet, each would wither in my arms the very night of their birth. I have spoken nothin', but my heart has clamoured intimations.

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

    Eddie suddenly pulls Catherine towards him and kisses her. She tries to free herself. "He reaches out suddenly, draws her to him, and as she strives to free herself he kisses her on the mouth". She does not want this to happen.

  1. How Does Arthur Miller Create and Sustain Tension in Act 4 of 'The Crucible'?

    He speaks very dramatically here, which shocks all the other characters as well as the audience because we are amazed at how far judge Danforth will go in the name of justice. Reverend Hale tries with reverend Parris to stop the hangings but even both of them cannot stop judge Danforth from hanging John Procter.

  2. How does Miller capture and maintain the audience's interest in The Crucible?

    However at the end of act four we hear the warm and passionate exchange between the two characters as Elizabeth opens her heart to John and although not wishing for him to testify to Witchcraft desperately wanting him to live so he could bring up there unborn baby together.

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