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Miller's "The Crucible"

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Introduction

Miller's "The Crucible" is based on the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, in which many innocent people were executed due to accusations that were deemed believable at the time, by a group of adolescent girl's. These girls were caught up in the widespread hysteria of the lies and deceit in a puritan community. The play also parallels Miller's own life when he stood trial for giving names of alleged communists. When the play opens, we see Reverend Parris praying and sobbing in a room alone. When Tituba enters 'frightened', this creates the tension as Tituba wants to see Betty, but feels she can't because of Parris. "She enters as one does that can not bear to be barred from the sight of her beloved" When Tituba seeks the courage to speak, Parris shouts at her. "Out of here!" Just in the first two lines and stage directions, the tension is created and an impression that Tituba is now scared of Parris. The mood in the beginning is a feeling of sadness, sorrow and tension which creates a lot of emotion swell as drama. ...read more.

Middle

The relationship between Proctor and Parris in Act 1 seems to be somewhat not a pleasant one. Proctor despises Parris, and thinks that he is greedy in getting money. On page 24, there is an ongoing feud between Proctor and Parris over the deeds to the house. Proctor is angry at Parris for demanding the deeds to the house, and for wanting extra money for firewood. "Mr Parris you are the first minister ever did demand the deed to this house-" Parris replies, "Man! Doesn't a minister deserve a house to live in?" Parris is defending his point by trying to get Proctor to believe that he needs a house to live in. Proctor then goes on to say "To live in, yes. But to ask ownership is like you shall own the meeting house itself..." This argument continues, and we see Rebecca Nurse trying to keep the calm and the peace. Miller delivers short lines which impact on the audience as she is stuck in the middle and is trying to calm the situation that has arisen. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reverend Hale and Parris celebrate that the curse has been set free, adding to the shock as they are shocked themselves, so in turn the audience are being shocked with them. The whole of "The Crucible" is based upon the dramatic devices and effect of tension, especially in Act 1. The play is known famously for this, and it is interesting how it can be linked with Miller's own life, shown through John Proctor. The story reminds its readers of an ugly blemish on human history. It reminds us that man is not perfect, and that we can make mistakes. However, even with these mistakes, we can cleanse ourselves and purify ourselves by making what is wrong right. Religion - Puritanism is the key theme in this play, and it adds to the dramatic effects massively as the rules of Puritanism are so strict. The play is fantastic one to watch and it keeps you on the edge of your chair. It's a play that, if you are watching it, will be in suspense and eager to find out what is happening next, with its constant turns and twists in the plot. ?? ?? ?? ?? Leigh Jones Tension and Drama in "The Crucible - Act 1" ...read more.

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