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

How does Miller use setting and action in Set 1of 'the Crucible' to establish atmosphere and set the scene for the events which are to unfold?

Extracts from this document...


How does Miller use setting and action in Set 1of 'the Crucible' to establish atmosphere and set the scene for the events which are to unfold? This essay recounts the various ways in which Arthur Miller uses setting and action to set the atmosphere for the coming events in 'the Crucible'. During the 1950's whilst 'the Crucible' was being written a phenomenon called McCarthyism was occurring. McCarthy, who was the US president at the time, was determined to hunt down communists in the USA. He was paranoid about Communists and McCarthyism is the name given to the paranoid behaviour of his government in the hunt for communists. Miller was called in front of the judge and was tried, as were a number of his friends, but Miller was not convicted although others were. This is where Miller's idea for 'the Crucible' originated. The link between McCarthyism and the witch-hunt is persecution, which is a common parallel in both situations. Being based on a true story about a historical witch-hunt creates dramatic tension in that the audience are expecting a play based on fact rather than fiction. The audience at the time would have known that the play was about McCarthyism, and by claiming that the play was based on fact Miller creates excitement in the audience who are prepared for a factual account of McCarthyism. It is notable that Miller was unable to perform his play publicly in the US at the time and it had to be performed in Belgium. ...read more.


The audience sees a link between Proctor and Abigail as her reaction on his entering is different from when say Mrs Put'm enters. At this point the audience is not sure what the connection is between Abigail and Proctor, but when the 'knowing smile' goes upon his face it can immediately be guessed that it is something sexual. The tension slowly builds as the two characters play mind games with each other, Proctor: 'his smile widening'. Abigail sees Proctors behaviour as him wanting her so her courage increases and she goes up to him and says 'Give me a word, John. A soft word.' This is where the anger within the scene comes about. 'Her concentrated desire destroys his smile'. This is also the first place where sexual intent is written within the text. Proctors anger is immediate as he realises her intentions but Abigail's slowly rises as she is in a state of confusion. Many of the actions in this part are harsh and callous. 'With a bitter anger', 'with a flash of anger', 'shaking her' "Do you look for a whippin?" All of this happens within a few seconds and the tension is created quickly as in the form of a crescendo. As the audience can see here, any meeting between Abigail and Proctor is not going to be peaceful. The confrontation between Abigail and Proctor on Set 1 in Act 1 prepares the audience for the later confrontation in the courthouse. ...read more.


She immediately, and successfully turns the attention away from the adultery and onto what she wants everyone focused on. She immediately mentions a bird which she then says is Mary. This brings the tension straight back up because someone that is considered to be on Abigail's side is being accused of sending her spirit out. Here the girls successfully turn everything round so that it now looks as if Proctor has associated with the devil. The tension here is created by the aggravation of every character in the scene. Everyone is trying to get their points across but take sides at the very end, to whichever side seems the safest from the eye of the judge. Miller successfully creates tension using setting and actions from set 1 to prepare the audience for the events, which are to unfold. The use of light and dark in Set 1 successfully set the mood for the whole play. The use of light coming through the windows successfully provides a stylistic device that the audience can refer to for Millers ideas of truth, hope and justice. Miller is effective in introducing the audience to the main characters and portraying their personalities for their encounters in later scenes in the play. Miller successfully portrayed the mood that the characters were in by using setting and the actions to bring the play to life and add real dramatic excitement for the reader. In the play Miller effectively illustrated the injustice of society and that nothing can be done for one individual when they are left to fend for themselves. 1 Magdalena Jennings ...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. Analyse the ways in which the themes of intimidation and persecution are presented in ...

    "A drum roll strikes the air." The sound effect brings tension as they gradually get louder and everyone knows what's coming, John's death. John is forgiven "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!"

  2. How does Miller handle the theme of Justice in 'The Crucible' and what message ...

    He is now seen as the Hero because the audience has seen his flaw. All Hero's have a fatal flaw and John's is his integrity. He admits this crime that is not just thought wrong by the court, but also himself.

  1. The Crucible - Act 1 – Abigail Diary.

    I have no right to judge anybody here, I do not know them, but I can tell the difference between witchcraft and vengeance, and this is pure vengeance. I feel this is not Gods work I do. I have signed away the souls of over seventy people who I now believe are good, hard working covenant Christians.

  2. Using both Act 2 and Act 4, explore the relationship between John and Elizabeth. ...

    Ergo, when John has an affair Elizabeth doesn't know how to forgive him and so Miller uses language to make their relationship seem like a trial, with phrases such as "Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!" (Use of imagery)

  1. I have given you my soul. Leave me my name: What kind of character ...

    Once again he speaks his mind openly and although he isn't guilty he makes it out as if he is. He has earned so much respect from Reverend Hale that at this point Hale quite the Court on Proctors behalf as he knows he is being unfairly treated.

  2. The Crucible - Acts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    She tilted her head back when she looked at people, so that she was looking up to people - this gave the impression that she saw herself as being inferior to others, and so she may appear innocent. This worked well, as the audience could see what she was doing

  1. Examine the end of act one in 'The Crucible.' Consider its importance of this ...

    The atmosphere is somewhat tense yet the conversation is not short and to the point, but long and drawn out as Tituba begins to fabricate her stories. Parris mutters the odd word or two about random villagers, yet again this displays his angst over his reputation in the village.

  2. In this assignment I am going to investigate the dramatic Intensity of The Crucible's ...

    " Thou shall not commit adultery." The Crucible is when John Proctor confesses to committing adultery in (Act 3 page) saying, "It is a whore" to prove this, "I have known her." This affects the play in a major way because this is not expected and the outcome of the play will depend on the result of this accusation.

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