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The Crucibe- The Gradual Revelation Of Abigail Williams.

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Introduction

Show how Miller creates tension in the gradual revelation of Abigail's character and intentions in act one. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, was written with intent to tell the story of how the small community of Salem was caught in a spiralling web of lies, resulting in many innocent lives being lost. Arthur Miller begins The Crucible with Reverend Samuel Parris' daughter, Betty, lying inert on her bed and not able to wake, after fainting the night before when she was caught, by her father, dancing in the woods. Witchcraft is then feared, as the circumstances are suspicious and Parris is desperate to find out what really did happen that night in the woods. Parris' niece, Abigail Williams, is introduced and she begins to cause more suspicion, instigating rumours about other people, and, as the play unfolds, the audience see that Abigail is not what she at first seems to be and, purely due to lust, vendettas and jealousy, lives are lost and suspicion and paranoia is aroused in every home. Arthur Miller establishes that the play is set very much in the past by using archaic language and sentence structure. When Proctor is speaking to Mary Warren, he asks her, "Be you foolish, Mary Warren?" In this particular example, 'be' in a modern context would actually mean 'are'. As an example of Miller using inverted sentence structure is when Parris says to Abigail, "Sit you down." ...read more.

Middle

And you know I can do it...I can make you wish you never saw the sun go down." I chose this as a quote because I feel it shows that fear and desire for control and power motivates Abigail's actions and speech. Abigail wants control over these girls and her fear that they will spill the secrets of what she did turns her violent, trying to gain control. Now the audience are aware of what really happened in the woods and they also know that only these other girls are aware of this, but there are no adults in this part of act one, so only the audience and the girls in this part actually know what happened. Proctor, Hale, the Putnams, Rebecca nurse and the rest of Salem are blind to this. Shortly after, Proctor interrupts the conversation and John Proctor and Abigail are left alone to engage in conversation. They are friendly and humorous towards each other, but the conversation suddenly changes dramatically and the audience see a softer side to Abigail that they have never seen before. The mood changes when Abigail says to John, "Give me a word, John. A soft word." Then he replies, "No, no, Abby. That's done with." His reply is short, as if he is closing the subject' he does not want anything else mentioned about this subject. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, when Proctor enters and humiliates Mary Warren she is said to be 'afraid of him and strangely titillated', I think she does not know what to think about him and, because of this, does not show her true colours, saying, "I'd best be off. I have my Ruth to watch. Good morning, Mr. Proctor." The effect Proctor's entrance has is not only clear with Mercy Lewis, but with Mary Warren. As an audience, we have not yet seen any other interaction between Mary Warren and John Proctor, but when he enters, she 'jumps in fright' and obeys as he orders her to go out, humiliating her. Now the audience see the relationship between both of their characters; Mary Warren being the Proctors' slave and he being the clear 'boss'. Abigail may blind the community with her lies, but the audience know what she is really like when she reveals her true colours and intentions in the middle of act one. This is dramatic irony, and the audience know what Abigail is really like and therefore feel cooled towards her, as she is not a likeable character. The irony is that the audience know the outcome of the hysteria and lies and the other characters do not and still are manipulated by Abigail. The audience know about the affair between Abigail and Proctor and they know how she drank blood to kill Goody Proctor, and Parris and the others are unaware of this. ...read more.

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