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Look at the beginning of act two. How does Arthur Miller show the audience the strain in the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor?

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English Coursework Look at the beginning of act two. How does Arthur Miller show the audience the strain in the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor? Arthur Miller shows the strain of the relationship between Elizabeth and John Proctor to the audience by what they see, hear, and feel by the things what the couple says, do, and act. They could also sense strain and tension by staging. He emphasises the difficult relationship by the contrast of the scene. Ie, when the audience first see the stage, they are met with a very homely, domestic scene. "Elizabeth is heard softly singing to the children." They also see a pot cooking in the fireplace. This shouldn't show any tension or coldness in their relationship or home. However, they immediately sense something strange when John enters, since instead of calling to Elizabeth, e.g. "I'm home!" John stays silent. They then meet other difficulties in the relationship when John Proctor tastes the food Elizabeth has prepared for him, and, as he is "not quite pleased"; he adjusts it until he is pleased. Arthur Miller might have put this in as a relating gesture of John and Elizabeth, ie that he has high expectations, of her and other things, and wants them to be perfect as he considers it. ...read more.


He also later says that she "ought to bring flowers into the house" because "Its winter (a cold and empty season) in here yet." Hence, he would be pleased of warmth and gentleness entering the house, However, the most logical reason of why he is happy of the rabbit walking in is that he wouldn't have to hunt for rabbit meat for a while. She sits and watches him taste it. and doesn't eat herself since she has presumably eaten with the children. In those times, (1692) wives were expected to stay at home, clean the house, cook the food, take care of the children, and obey their husbands. They were also expected to be good Christians, be calm, quiet etc. To express these qualities above, Elizabeth should probably dress in quite plain, conservative clothes, and " walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and talk quietly." He then compliments her about the rabbit, "It's well seasoned", and she receives it, 'blushing with pleasure'. She then adds, that she "took great care." Again, both are trying hard to be friendly to each other, to try to avoid argument. ...read more.


again.") Elizabeth has not yet forgiven him, which he accuses her of later. "You forgive nothing' and forget nothin'!" She then admits to having let Mary go to Salem and this makes him quite angry. However, when she carries on he starts shouting at her 'holding back a full condemnation of her' and says that she should control her servants better. Perhaps he also thinks that she should have controlled Abigail, so he wouldn't have had an affair with her. Basically, in this part of Act Two, the author shows that the strain in their relationship was caused by his affair with Abigail, which has resulted with her distrust. Miller also shows that Proctor quickly raises his temper, which could also strain a relationship. Proctor only seems to have raised his temper when Abigail and his affair with her are mentioned. This could be because he feels guilty. Knowing what parts of the act give hints to their difficult relationship helps tremendously when the play is performed, since the director knows what parts of the act he must emphasise. He can do that by using different lighting, sound effects, dramatic music from an orchestra, acting, and pauses. By Karina Wortelboer ...read more.

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