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The Crucible - Arthur Miller

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The Crucible. Act One Arthur Miller was one of many people brought in front of a congressional committee during the McCarthy Trials of the 1950s. The "Red hunt" for Communists that was taking place in Washington, D.C. brought parallels to the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600s. The Salem Witch Trials, which were depicted by Arthur Miller in his play The Crucible, sought the people of Salem, Massachusetts who were affiliated with the Devil. One of the characters from the play, a young girl named Abigail Williams, provoked the search of witches when she wanted to escape the punishment of dancing in the forest. It was her plan to find a scapegoat to blame for her own acts. Abigail used her credibility, jealousy, and selfishness to change the village of Salem to a place of wrongful accusations and back stabbings. Throughout the entire play, Abigail's credibility helped herself be believed by the people of the village. The question of Abigail's truthfulness never arose until late in the play. Her main cause for this was an on going act of desperation for a man called John Proctor, with whom she once had an affair. ...read more.


Although Abigail is obviously distraught she still has the motivation to keep trying. Proctor immediately knew who was at the heart of this dire situation as it must have been an evil-minded person to create such a fuss. " You'll be clapped in the stocks before you're twenty" makes the audience almost feel that the feeling towards Abigail has turned from lust to hate. Although Abigail has an ongoing desire for Proctor, and there is still an intention to be with him, Proctors thinks the affair is over as far as he's concerned. He treats Abigail as a child throughout this scene and there are referrals to her as 'child', to which she indignantly retorts 'How do you call me child?' Even his reply to her is like a father to a child when he says 'I may think of you softly from time to time' 'Softly' hardly being a word used from one lover to another. Abigail also accuses Proctor of being cold and distant towards her when she reminds him that she knows that he is 'no wintry man', yet again reminding him of their intimacy. ...read more.


Although Abigail doesn't like Elizabeth she understands the womanly intuition now that she places on Proctor. Proctor throughout this scene has weakened to an extent but yet the audience knows that Proctor will be back stronger than ever. So the scene is set for the future of the play and the development of the relationships. Certainly there is jealousy on Abigail's behalf, but also that of a wife whose husband has had an affair. From this we embark on the trail of jealousy between two women and a women scorned by her lover. We also have the sexual tension between Proctor and Abigail. He wants to deny there was ever a relationship, mainly because of guilt, but also he clearly still has a very strong desire for her. Abigail still loves Proctor and almost uses blackmail tactics to make him acknowledge and continue their relationship. Proctor is also very defensive towards his wife, which the audience is left to feel is mainly due to his guilt that he has been unfaithful. Underpinning the whole story and surrounding the relationships is the developing story of witchery and suspicion in a small religious village called Salem. ...read more.

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