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Show how Miller builds up Fears and Tension through his use of dramatic devices.

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Introduction

Show how Miller builds up Fears and Tension through his use of dramatic devices. The crucible is a dramatic play written by Arthur Miller in 1953 and is regarded as his most powerful, based on a true story. It involves the themes of witch craft, religion, far truth and hypocrisy. It's set against the backdrop of the mad Witch-Hunts of the Salem witch trials in the late 17th century. Although the events of the play are based on the events that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Miller was liberal in his fictionalisation of those events. Despite the obvious political criticisms contained within the play, most critics felt that, 'the crucible' was a self-contained play about a terrible period in American history. The Witchcraft Hysteria In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, the superstition of witches existed in a society of strong Christian beliefs. Anybody who acted out of the ordinary was accused of being a witch and then the accuse would actually be forgiven if the blamed their accusations on another individual. This was the main idea of the play. Many people were accused for allegedly being communists. Miller at that time was accused of being communist therefore personal experience could empathise with the accused. Although Millers play is a strong story about what took place in Salem witchcraft trials, he strongly shows the many tests that were laid upon the characters and goes out of his way to sum up the way they were handled. ...read more.

Middle

John Proctor is the central character in the play, he is a, A natural leader, even tempered and not easily led. Proctor's guilt about his affair with Abigail Williams prevents him from telling the truth and putting an end to the witch hunt hysteria. Proctor sees himself as a sinner and he thinks that he is unworthy to follow in the footsteps of blameless martyrs like Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey. Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor has an unshakeable religious belief, loves and feels strong loyalty to her husband. Act 2 is a complete contrast to act 1. After the noise and bustle of Act 1, Act 2 opens on a rater quiet note a few days after the happenings of Act1 in Proctors house. We are immediately made aware of the strained relationship between Proctor and Elizabeth. We can tell by the opening of Act 2 that Elizabeth is a loving mother, a strong contrast to what Abbey had previously called her, 'a cold snivelling women'. There is tension between Elizabeth and Proctor, due to Abigail. Proctor tells Elizabeth that he loves her and she finds it hard to say back, when proctor kisses her she does not return his kiss and Proctor is disappointed 'A sense of their separation arises', this stage direction shows the audience that the relationship Proctor had with Abby has put a strain on things and a lack of honesty has arisen between Proctor and Elizabeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

Abigail enters with the other girls and Mary repeats the story that she never saw any spirits. Abigail suddenly enters a trance claiming that Mary is witching her. The pitch of the hysteria begins to rise. Proctor then calls Abby a Whore and confesses to adultery, sacrificing both his honour and his integrity. Elizabeth is then questioned about John's adultery, and lies to save him. This is contrast as Proctor said Elizabeth would never lie. By lying to defend him it actually condemns him. Again the setting of Act Four is light and dark, parallel with Act One. It is set a while after act three. There is a sense of isolation in prison. Hale and Cheever report that there is breakdown in the community through the imprisonment of so many people. Abby and Mary steel some money and run away. Hale asks Judge Danforth to pardon the condemned but this is refused. Elizabeth begs with John to confess and save his life, Proctor almost does but the sight of Rebecca Nurse who has refused to give in stops him. There is great tension here. John realises that he has to make a last stand for truth and honour and He and Rebecca are led to their deaths. And with a drum roll this ends the play. Danielle Fisher 10A ...read more.

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