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In Act 3 of 'The Crucible' consider how Miller usesCharacter, language and dramatic devices to create tensionAnd explore the plays social and historical context.

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Introduction

English Literature Coursework: Post 1914 Drama Iram Ali Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' In Act 3 of 'The Crucible' consider how Miller uses Character, language and dramatic devices to create tension And explore the plays social and historical context. The Crucible is the study in the mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, concentrating on the fate of some of the key figures caught up in the persecution. It powerfully depicts people and principles under pressure, and the issues and motivations involved. At the same time it is also clearly a parable for the events of the McCarthy era in the USA of the 1950s when anyone suspected of left wing views was arraigned for ' un American activities' 'The Crucible' consists of many dramatic acts involving a lot of tension but Act III is significant to the whole play as it involves a lot of dramatic irony and anxiety. Act III is opened with a build up a tension from the previous act where Elizabeth Proctor is accused of witchcraft and taken away by the court. This immediately builds up tension to the next act as the audience wait for the trial. The structural importance is an important key aspect involved in Act III as it creates tensions and contrasts in with the next event. This creates the right atmosphere for upcoming episodes such as the news of Elizabeth's pregnancy and what influence it could have on her fate. Act III consists of many emotions such as guilt, regression, anger and hope. Each character changes within the act depending on their individual circumstances. Proctor is known to be a good man but then he is forced to admit to adultery, his wife Elizabeth a very honest woman is forced to lie for her husband and Abigail still continues the same throughout Act III with her dramatic character unable to change in her circumstances. ...read more.

Middle

Danforth asks another set of angry questions to try and catch Giles out but Giles cleverly answers each question and statement but then he brings up that he thinks Putnam is killing his neighbours for their land. Danforth asks for the proof and Giles says he got it from an honest man who overheard Putnam say it but Giles would not name the man, he is therefore arrested for contempt of the court. Giles is then taken away, as he is he tells John to give up because it is no use. This creates dramatic tension as wheter giles telling John to give up will have any effect on John and also whether John's quotation from the bible will prove right in the end. At this point, the audience are in suspense and eager to see what happens in the trail. They have got more than enough to think about with each characters circumstances and their fate. Danforth in his rage again turns his attention to Mary Warren and again Proctor is Mary's spokesman and Hale sticks up for the innocent and tells Danforth to stop the hearing and let John come back with a lawyer. Danforth then goes into a long speech to try and justify what he is doing and to prove it is all in the name of God. Danforth reads Mary Warrens deposition and orders Cheever to bring the other girls to the court. Danforth is now considering that this claim may be true and questions Mary again but less ruthlessly than before, gradually Mary builds up her confidence and tells the whole truth to Danforth but then some of the girls, the others weren't in court, arrived and Mary falls back into short answers in fear. Abigail had a hold over the girls and lied to Danforth saying that " goody Proctor...poppet" to which John declared was untrue so then Proctor and Danforth have another long convosation about Mary and the other girls doings. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the anti-war protests hysteria will have been felt amongst the people building them up to a state of dislike for the politicians involved and the people for war. Hysteria also brings people to form small minded, bigoted opinions of the things they are against like in the cases of Danforth, Parris and Putnam. The second reason why Miller wrote this play was because of the McCarthy trials were taking place at the time. These were trials that took place in the early 1950's after World War Two and anyone with leftwing sympathies should be investigated and make themselves known at persecuting public hearings. People were encouraged to inform on those they suspected which may be where Miller got the idea of Abigail from as he had seen what rumours and gossip could do as he was one of the accused in the McCarthy trials. Miller chose the Salem Witch trials to put his play into the context of because like the McCarthy it was a true event that happened in American history. In Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century the in habitants very much believed in the devil and knew of his powers so thought that all witchcraft should be hunted out. They were puritans, which meant that none of their habits and activities were very strict and no entertainment was permitted. Miller did a lot of research into the inhabitants of Salem then so many of the characters are based on real people their actions however and words were not spoken as Miller made the people his own in the play. Miller writes Act 3 very cleverly so that the audience know information that the judges do not, this is a way of making the tension and intrigue in the crowd rise. This form of audience participation is used often by great play writers such as Shakespeare even though their styles are completely different it still has the same effect of dramatic tension and makes their plays interesting and exciting for all the members of the audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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