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How Does Miller Make the Trial Scene Exciting and Dramatic?

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Introduction

How Does Miller Make the Trial Scene Exciting and Dramatic? "The Crucible," was first produced in 1953. The time is 1692 and the place, Salem, Massachusetts. The beginning of the play commences with Betty Parris (daughter of Reverend Parris), who is ill. The cause of her illness is thought to be of some sort of witchcraft. Abigail Williams (the manipulating cause of the problems in Salem) was caught dancing naked in the woods and was trying to act out witchcraft to kill the wife of the man she is obsessed with, John Proctor. To divert attention away from this, she initiates the accusations of witchcraft and Devil-worship. Due to her lust for John Proctor, she turns the entire community of Salem into a paranoid society, where petty differences between individuals are avenged spitefully. Proctor knows Abigail is lying, and the plot thickens when Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor's wife, is accused (due to Abigail's manipulation). The climax comes when, after John Proctor has been condemned as well and has to decide whether to confess and live the life of a disgrace, or plead innocent and die a martyr. The play ends tragically when John Proctor refuses to confess his involvement with the Devil and is hanged. This story line parallels Miller's situation in America in the 1950's. ...read more.

Middle

Giles is a victim and his innocence raises sympathy among the audience. He exhibits the level of hysteria and insanity of the trials and reveals how deep-rooted petty grievances can encourage people to accuse others for revenge. Giles also represents what is true and just as well as the guilt. His innocent comment escalated into a situation into a situation where a person will actually die. Martha Corey's fate (as being accused and condemned) gains tension and sympathy from the audience. The factors that create these emotions include the fact that Martha Corey is clearly innocent. The blindness and ignorance of the judges to the truth also adds to the tension. The final point that creates sympathy is Abigail's manipulative powers (how Abigail's words can create mass hysteria). A crucial element in creating effective drama is the build up of characters on-stage. At the beginning of Act Three, there are no characters on-stage; the audience are only able to hear voices, not see the actual characters themselves. As the Act progresses, more and more characters enter on-stage. By the end of Act Three, many characters are on-stage; the effect created by thus is hysteria. This hysteria creates a large amount of tension and anxiety in the audience. An extremely effective dramatic device, which Miller uses to increase tension, is the melodramatic movement on-stage from Abigail and the girls. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end, this is all created to increase tension and excitement in the audience. A truly dramatic event in Act Three is when Elizabeth Proctor lied about John Proctor's affair with Abigail. Even though John Proctor had confessed his sin, Elizabeth's lie to protect her husband meant that the confession was in vain. This tragic event certainly creates sympathy and adds to the tension. This contrast between the innocent (those accused) and the accusers (Abigail and the girls) and the fact that the audience know the truth, all increases tension and excitement in the play. In the end, it is the truly tragic, dramatic ending which provokes the strongest reaction from the audience. The unusual theme in this play is that evil has prevailed. I think that this is a very powerful message which Miller has tried to convey. It shows how he must have felt during the period of McCarthyism in the 1940's and 1950's; the feelings of despair and anger in Miller's life echo in this play. The tragic ending when John Proctor cries, "You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!" has a dramatic irony. In this play, Miller has effectively and successfully created an atmosphere, which portrays exactly what he wanted to achieve. Therefore, Miller's play is a success. Tension and excitement has been used in an effective way, and this is a major factor as to why this play is so successful. Kohmal Solanki 1 ...read more.

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