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In Act three of the crucible, how does Arthur Miller create an atmosphere of tension and build to a climax at the end of the act?

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Introduction

In Act three of the crucible, how does Arthur Miller create an atmosphere of tension and build to a climax at the end of the act? At the beginning of act three we hear voices from the court, of Martha Corey being accused of witchcraft, showing the extent that the accusation have risen to. Proctor brings Mary Warren to the court to tell the truth, that the girls and Abigail were making up everything about the women being witches, so as Proctor can prove his wife's innocence and gain her freedom from jail. During the proceedings, Proctor is forced to sacrifice his name and admit to his affair with Abigail in order to damage her credibility, however his wife, Elizabeth, not knowing of his confession, lies to protect her husband, saying that it was not the truth. When Abigail is confronted about this, she reacts in her usual way, which is to accuse Mary of being a witch herself. Mary can not take the pressure of the accusations and so, to save herself she, copies Abigail in how she gets herself out of trouble, by accusing Proctor of witchcraft, and forcing her to the court in order to overthrow it. Proctor is so angry at the state of the court and his faith, that, at the end of the act, he denounces God as her can not see any trace of divine help in the proceedings of that day. Miller uses this rise and fall of tension throughout the act as a build up of the final, and most dramatic end to the act, where Proctor seals his fate by shouting, "I say - I say - God is dead!" ...read more.

Middle

The fact that we are hearing Giles trying to give evidence to prove Martha Corey's innocence and that he is being hushed, causes us to find the court objectionable. Giles is pulled out of the court with force, as he shouts to be allowed to give his evidence. This raises the tension as it is violence against a high authority figure of the court, which may mean that Giles is also punished. "(The door opens and Giles is half carried into the vestry by Herrick)" The court house setting also adds to the tension as it is a place where decisions are made and in particular, at that moment, the decision whether someone lives or dies. We can tell that a lot of changes are going to be made in this scene because of Proctors incentive to come and face the court. He plans to uncover the truth and in doing so put an end to Abigail and the other girls childish vendetta the more upstanding members of the community. The fact that they are young, unmarried girls would usually mean they would have no power, but when they find power in their accusations, they cannot stop and are not willing to step back into their usual roles of serving the others in the village. They use their power to get back at their superiors, the ones who usually bossed them around and were in control. This reversal of roles, were the village is at the girls' mercy, adds to the tension as things are not as they should be, and though we can see the truth, the fact that the judges and those who really matter cannot see this causes yet another addition to the tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

Proctor has seen the truth as he says that both Danforth and himself are doomed to hell as they have both sinned, "Proctor : God damns our kind especially, and we will burn , we will burn together! . . . You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!" Hale has had enough and says he had nothing to do with the court proceedings and the overall verdict and storms out of the court. This is the final climax that Millar was building to the end were Proctor is so angry at Abigail and the court that he doesn't care any more. When he says, "I say - I say - God is dead!" He is basically signing his own death warrant as the tolerance for blasphemy in his society was non-existent. Proctor knew this and knew this would anger everyone but he also knew that he couldn't win. The end of the scene ends in chaos, as Hale storms out, The court falls apart, symbolising the less than perfect world of the Theocracy and their entire beliefs, which do not work when people have the freedom to lie and cause such thing as murder to happen legally and with the authorisation of the courts. I think that the point Arthur Miller is trying to make is that people will only believe what they want to believe. Also, there is not a straight line drawn through right and wrong, how crime and punishment are often influenced by thoughts, feelings and individual ideals. I think he is also trying to say that good doesn't always conquer over evil no matter how superior their principals, intensions or morals are. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Moore English - Crucible essay ...read more.

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