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In this essay I will be comparing the three plays I studied. These are 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare, 'The Crucible' By Arthur Miller and 'St Joan' by Bernard Shaw.

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Introduction

In this essay I will be comparing the three plays I studied. These are 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare, 'The Crucible' By Arthur Miller and 'St Joan' by Bernard Shaw. In comparison to the three plays, I have found out that they are slightly similar, e.g. they involve witchcraft, supernatural interaction, murder, suspicion and false accusations. In 'Macbeth' act 5 scene 1 Lady Macbeth is seen talking and acting suspiciously. E.g. rubbing her hands as if there is blood on them. She feels different emotions in this scene. "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!" she is frightened and somewhat angry because she can't get the blood stains off her hands. The other characters in this scene are the Doctor and Gentlewoman. They are monitoring Lady Macbeth's actions and become suspicious of her. The genre of 'Macbeth' is classical, whereas 'St Joan' and 'The Crucible' are naturalistic. In classical plays they use conventions like expressing their emotions through their speech; this is because it was originally staged in an open air theatre where emotions are difficult to express through body language. However naturalistic plays were performed on a proscenium stage, this made the conventions different to classical plays and is somewhat the opposite of it, for example emotions can be expressed through body language, and this is known as melodramatic. ...read more.

Middle

communicating with God was a lie. After signing it she realises she is to be incarcerated in 'Solitary Contemplation' which means she cannot be set free due to her sins. Joan feels shocked and angry, "[Rising in consternation and terrible anger]: Perpetual imprisonment! Am I not then to be set free?" The context of 'St Joan' i.e. the society in the play is religious, military, judicial and political, all these contexts can be seen in the court room scene in 'St Joan'. Their society values God, this can be obviously seen when they convict Joan of receiving messages from God. Their society is offended by this. In order for one to act out 'St Joan' they would have to use a lot of stage directions and props to make the play more clear to the audience, the genre is a historical epic meaning it is based on something that really took place, this means that the character would have to act like it really did happen. "[She rushes to the table; snatches up the paper; and tears it into fragments]" There are a lot of quotations like these, they are stage directions, this shows that this is a naturalistic play unlike 'Macbeth', which uses fewer props and stage directions. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is similar to 'St Joan' and requires a lot of stage directions e.g. Hand gestures. This play is naturalistic, like 'St Joan' is requires conventions such as stage directions, "[pointing]: It's on the beam: behind the rafter." It would be easier to perform these because it would be originally staged in a proscenium theatre. Pauses are also used, "Be quiet." The conventions are somewhat similar to 'St Joan' but not 'Macbeth', the dialogue is simple i.e. the characters in 'The Crucible' do not need to say how they feel. If I were to act out the following text: I cannot hear you. What do you say? (Mary utters again unintelligibly): You will confess yourself or you will hang! (He turns her roughly to face him). Do you know what I am? I say you will hang if you do not open with me. I would start to speak in a scared way, then change my tone in an angry way. I would also use body language i.e. in this case I would turn my face in an angry way. This play is similar to 'St Joan' and performed the same way and since it would be performed in the same stage, the audience can easily spot the body language. Comparing the social context and genre of Macbeth, St Joan and The Crucible Alex Costales Page 1 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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