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Show how Miller creates and sustains tension in the Crucible.

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Introduction

Edward Darbyshire 11G Crucible Coursework Show how Miller creates and sustains tension in the Crucible. Arthur Miller wrote the Crucible in 1953. The Crucible was written at the time of the Mc Carthy Anti-Communist movement and many similarities to this can be noted in the play. The crucible is based around a hysterical fear of witchcraft that lead to numerous campaigns against suspected witches. The Crucible can be read as an allegory of the anti-Communist investigation in the U.S.A during the 1950's. During the course of this essay I will talk about the different techniques Miller uses to create and sustain tension throughout the play. The Language in the crucible is expressed in a dialect that is very like Shakespeare's English. The setting of the play is a wild and untamed country and the people live a rugged life and their language is rugged. The play is filled with forces that create tension, and these forces all come together to create a very dramatic chain of events in this small and isolated 16th century village. All the characters live in an environment, which is filled with uncertainty and threat, some real and some imaginary. In the opening of the play we are introduced to the Reverend Parris praying by the bedside of his sick daughter Betty. ...read more.

Middle

In act two the question is " Will the Proctors get involved in the Witch hunt?" In act three The question being asked is "Will Abigail foil John Proctors attempt to discredit her?" and finally in act four the question asked is "Will John Proctor get hanged?" This repeated question and answer "Will the worst happen?" "Yes" is the rythem of the play and it is uses by Miller by great effect to create and sustain great tension throughout the crucible. Another point of tension in the play is caused by the fact that the characters follow a strict Puritan code and this causes terrible guilt. Abigail and John Proctor have an affair, which breaks the puritan rules, and Abigail sees that there is great hypocrisy in the community. In act 1 Abigail says, 'I never knew what pretence Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by Christian women and their covenanted men... You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is you love me yet' A further source of tension is that some of the villagers are unsatisfied with Parris. Putnam complains that Paris wants too much in return for his services. We can see throughout act 1 that the community is full of conflict, which has little to do with witchcraft, but talk of the supernatural power of witchcraft provides characters with an efficient weapon to use against their enemies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mary Warren's attempt to recant is destroyed by the force of Abigail and her followers. She denounces Proctor and he is arrested. In act 4 much of the tension is resolved into sympathy, especially for Proctor who shows himself to be very heroic in standing up for what he believes in. He decides to confess because he wants to look after his family- but even this great consideration does not stop him from being true to himself. The tensions in this part of the play come from the audience hoping that John Proctor will be saved, and that reason will triumph over mad bigotry. There is also tension because the people of Salem are getting angry about the hangings and are getting ready to riot. This is because John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse are Respected people not like the simple people who have been hanged already. Danforth and Hale are now caught in the tension of knowing that they are doing things only to keep the peace. For example they want proctor to lie so that they won't need to hang him. There is terrible tension in the audience because we all think about what we would do in his situation. Should Proctor confess to save his life or should he be true to his principles and die? A great deal of the tension in the crucible comes from the fact that the society in Salem is a tyranny, which is controlled by religious bigots. ...read more.

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