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

"I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" John Proctor Act 4 'The Crucible.' Discuss the significance of this statement within the play and the wider political and historical contexts

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" John Proctor Act 4 'The Crucible.' Discuss the significance of this statement within the play and the wider political and historical contexts. The play, 'The Crucible', portrays a community which is based on paranoid accusations of witchcraft ending in mass hysteria. The accusations led to dozens of alleged witches being prosecuted in the Massachusetts colony; resulting in the death of nineteen people being hung and one pressed to death, over the following two years. Set in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts during 1692, it depicts one man, John Proctor, in his struggle to keep his pride and name from being destroyed with lies, deceit and accusations of consorting with Satan. In 1915 Arthur Miller was born in New York City where he grew up. When he was older, in 1934, he paid for himself to enroll at the University of Michigan and graduated in 1938. Then during 1953 he published 'The Crucible' but was then later criticized for being an Anti-American. Arthur Miller was intrigued by the witch trials of the 17th Century Salem, but he was also concerned with United States political events; parts of which were opposing the spread of communism. ...read more.

Middle

She demonstrates over powering characteristics such as when she threatens the girls to keep quiet about the events in the forest: "Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy Reckoning that will shudder you." Abigail said this when Betty, another girl involved, wishes to admit they have done wrong but Abigail flies into her now well known furies and threatens all of the girls to silence. Furthermore she manipulates the entire town and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths. On the surface Abigail's motives seem simple, that she has simple jealousy and the will to have revenge on Elizabeth. Abigail is driven only by lust for John Proctor and the need for power. The trials allow Abigail to seize her power and pretend to act as though she has a direct connection to God; this empowers the previously powerless Abigail. Abigail now finds that she has a power over people, and so takes full advantage of it, even a mere accusation from Abigail and the girls is enough to convict even the highest and well-respected occupant of Salem. ...read more.

Conclusion

He includes many historical events, facts which allow people to see McCarthyism in a different view as they might have had before. McCarthyism was a movement involved in the hunting down and exposing of people who were communist or communist related; those found guilty were not executed like they would have been in the other situation of Salem witch trials but many suffered damage to there reputations and lifestyles. The Crucible tells about people who have lived in a social society where authority needs to be questioned and where opinion leads to punishment and rejection. It is in human nature for greed like it was for Putnam's greed for land and the suspicion of foreigners like Tituba in the time of Salem. These are still carried on to this day but are not as serious as they would have been previously. In conclusion as John Proctor feels strongly about his reputation and moral status he still feels like he has admitted he has done wrong, as a lie, but would not take the full responsibility of losing his livelihood and pride. The wider political contexts are to do with McCarthyism and how America was affected during that time just as Salem was during its Witch Hunts. Arthur Miller refers back to facts and tries to involve many different aspects of Salem while comparing them to America. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gary Chew 10A ...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. The Crucible - summary.

    immoral woman such as Bridget Bishop, and John Proctor did not drink his family to ruin as did Isaac Ward. Parris suggests postponing these hangings, and admits that there seems to be dissatisfaction, as shown by the low turnout at Proctor's excommunication.

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

    and the street (the wider community, where he meets friends). The story of Vinny Bolzano is a parable about the need for solidarity and loyalty in the community (this ranks even above family ties, it seems), but also is prophetically symbolic of Eddie's own act of treachery.

  1. Focusing on Act 3, to what extent is 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller an ...

    But we know that Proctor didn't. It was Abigail, the leader of the girls put pressure on Mary by 'imitating' and copying what she says. From this we can tell that Mary was pressured on telling the truth or either goes with Proctor or the girls and this wasn't an easy decision.

  2. Crucible Essay - What is the dramatic significance of Act 2 to the play ...

    'It is hard to say' is the stage direction that follows this line, and is evidence of the awkwardness that overshadows their relationship. John, experiencing guilt is desperately trying to gain back the trust of Elizabeth. He is constantly aware of her increasing loss of faith in him.

  1. Diary 1 - Hopes and Fears.

    I didn't care how much the price was because I knew in my heart that anything would be better than staying in Sicily to live such a terrible life. We got off the ship and then Marco told me to come with him and follow this guy called Tony who was going to take us to Beatrice's place.

  2. “I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” Do you consider John ...

    However, he is aware of his wife's "judgement", her righteousness, and it frustrates him. "I have not moved from here to there without I think to please you and still an everlasting funeral marches around your heart...I'll plead my honesty no more...I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion.

  1. GCSE English Directors Notes on Act 4 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

    "The emotion flowing between them prevents anyone speaking for a moment" So many things have happened since Proctor last spoke to Elizabeth, I'd like this to be visible from the way you respond to each other in this first meeting.

  2. John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

    Overall, John is dynamic due to the fact he went from being guilty of sinning to being honest in his quest to save the ones that he cared for. In conclusion, John Proctor stayed dynamic, signified by his actions, conflicts and motivations.

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