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Miller said The Crucible was about "the conflict between a man's raw deeds and his conception of himself" Discuss how Miller has used conflict in one scene and how this relates to conflict throughout the play, as well as its social and historical context.

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Introduction

Miller said The Crucible was about "the conflict between a man's raw deeds and his conception of himself" Discuss how Miller has used conflict in one scene and how this relates to conflict throughout the play, as well as its social and historical context. The Crucible is a play, which contains many conflicts throughout: the conflict between characters; the conflict between those characters' deeds and their conception of themselves: conflict within their minds; the thematic turmoil between truth and lies, innocence and experience/guilt, justice and injustice and the individual and the community. Structure and dramatic devices reflect conflict as well: this is one of the most important tools the playwright has to get across real feelings to the audience Many people in The Crucible have a conflict in their character between their raw deeds and their conception of themselves for example Parris, Proctor, Danforth. One of these is John Proctor, the main character of the play, who for the majority of the play, believes he is a bad person but actually does good deeds. This conflict in the play is based upon the conflict within John's mind. I have chosen to concentrate my study on Act four, focusing on the scene from page 107 to the end of the play. I have chosen this scene because it shows resolutions of some of the conflicts in the play and highlights others that have not been resolved. There are various different areas of conflict in the scene I am studying. ...read more.

Middle

In saying "a saint" he is comparing himself to Rebecca Nurse. She is also wrongly accused of being a witch but unlike Proctor has always been viewed as a morally upright member of society. Proctor fails to take into account that no one is "a saint" really until the very end of the play where he says "I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor." This is a resolution to the main conflict in the play upon which most of the conflict is based: John Proctor symbolises the struggle between right and wrong. John Proctor is a very three-dimensional person and this resolution tells us another of his qualities that the audience do not believe he has: an ability to forgive himself. Miller uses many different dramatic devices in this scene. The first dramatic device I would like to pick out is the different ways the characters respond to each other beginning with the exchange of emotions between Elizabeth and John at the beginning of my scene showing the great harmony and lack of conflict. In the stage directions words are used such as " pure... simply... tender... numbed... quietly" This will show itself in the way in which the actors react. When Elizabeth and John speak they are slow and clumsy. This is a passionate emotional moment in the play. Miller emphasizes this by using short sentences with many pauses. The silence creates pathos for the characters from the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the same way truth like John's saying he will not "sign myself to lies" can lead to injustice since he is hanged at the end but in this play a great number of characters would have to see the complete truth to lead the to justice. Since all the characters have some belief in God the supreme judge they all believe in truth and justice to a certain extent and that that will be give at the end. As Elizabeth says: "There be no higher judge under heaven". No one except God can judge Proctor and the other people to be hanged. This essay has discussed conflict between and within various different themes, people and ideas. The Chambers Science and Technology Dictionary says that a crucible is, "a refractory vessel or pot in which metals are melted." The introduction to the Heinemann version of The Crucible 1992 (Maureen Blakesley) says, "John Proctor is tested in a life threatening ordeal and his death at the end rather than betrayal of his conscience shows that he too has come through the fire to be purified." I would go as far as to say that the crucible (refractory vessel) is the ordeal and events therefore the play itself: The Crucible and the whole idea of conflict can be taken from just the play title. When John finally has his transgressions and personal disbeliefs refracted he is executed. This is also symbolic to show he becomes pure suggesting he has reached paradise after being removed from the crucible. Imogen Hagarty 1 ...read more.

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