• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Crucible Coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Crucible Coursework Arthur Miller's play, 'The Crucible', is based on the events leading up to and then the subsequent Salem Witch Trials. Before the play starts, the background story is that Samuel Parris, the local Reverend, was walking through the woods when he stumbled upon his niece, Abigail Williams, his daughter, Betty Parris, and other girls of the town dancing round a 'pot'. When Rev.Parris startles them, they all run off, but his daughter, Betty, seems to be afflicted by some kind of curse. That is where the play starts off. Miller wrote the play in an attempt to strike out at Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose anti-Communist hearings in 1953 included the concept of 'UnAmerican' activities. Miller was targeted for these kind of accusations, and so he wrote this play with McCarthy and 'unamerican' views in mind, but with the Salem Witch Trials as the setting. SUMMARY OF THE STORY ACT 1 This act begins with Parris praying for his daughter Betty, who is led in her bed, with some kind of apparent curse over her. Parris had stumbled upon Betty, his niece Abigail and other girls of the village dancing in the woods, in some kind of voodoo ritual, led by Parris' slave, Tituba. Betty had still not woken. Ann and Thomas Putnam arrive and claim that the Devil is present and has afflicted the girls. We are then informed that the Putnam's daughter, Ruth, is also afflicted. Witchcraft is first mentioned. The adults leave, and Abigail, Mercy Lewis and Mary Warren try to wake Betty. ...read more.

Middle

This is the evidence which proves that Parris is a static character, as throughout the play, his one motivation is self interest. Hale is the most dynamic character in the book, as proven by how he changes during the course of the witch trials. As Hale enters the story, the witch accusations are relatively new, and he is called in by Parris to sort out the situation, as he is a renowned 'witch hunter'. Hale then sparks off the town's cry of 'witch' by confronting Tituba, Parris' servant about alleged witch craft rituals in the forest. He gains a false confession off her, and then she begins to accuse various womenfolk of the town of witchcraft as well. This is when Hale begins to change. During the trials, Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor's wife, is accused, and Hale begins to see that all is not well in Salem. Then, when John Proctor is accused, Hale realizes that the 'accursed' group of girls are, in fact, manipulating the court to save themselves. Hale tries with all his power to prove Proctor's innocence, but to no avail, and at the end of the play, Hale is a broken man, in realization that the townsfolk would not have died had it not been for him. For this reason, Hale is a dynamic character. Giles Corey is the hero of the play. Although not one of the most featured in the play, he is a static character as he sticks to his morals throughout the play, and he dies a martyr, pressed to death by boulders, in an attempt to make him confess. ...read more.

Conclusion

After both reading the book and then watching the film, I believe that the film was better. This is because everything is a lot clearer in the film. In the book, things happened very fast, and it was easy to get confused. Also, in the book, new characters were brought into the different scenarios without any introduction whatsoever, and so whilst reading I would often wonder who, for example, Herrick was. These 'smaller' characters were put into the play without a description. Although these characters didn't get a big introduction in the film, there was at least an explanation of why they were in Salem, and I could visually see what they looked like. The book, however, is that although the smaller characters don't have descriptions, the main characters do, and I was able to get some kind of history on the characters. The film did give things a more dramatic edge, and made things a lot easier to understand. For example, during scene in court, when Mary Warren accuses Proctor of aligning with the Devil, everything happens too fast in the book, and it was hard to follow exactly what was going on, whereas in the film, it was a lot easier to follow. The main problem with the film was that it was turned into a sort of 'Romance' Story. By this I mean that at the end of the book, Elizabeth and John part with nothing more than an embrace and a goodbye, whereas in the film, it is made to be more emotive and in my opinion made the film worse than it could be. In my opinion, 'The Crucible' is a good play, and I have enjoyed reading it. Charlie Hartley ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. The Crucible - summary.

    Hearing the chant, Betty sits up and screams. Abigail calls for Rev. Parris, who believes that Betty cannot bear to hear the Lord's name. Giles Corey, an eighty-three year old man enters with Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca is the wife of Francis Nurse, a highly respected man in Salem and large landowner.

  2. Reverend John Hale and his function in the Crucible

    This could be shown on stage by the Judges, who are now the authoritative characters, sitting on the bench and Hale standing underneath, the judges looking down upon him. This emphasises that the Judges are of a higher status than Hale.

  1. Diary 1 - Hopes and Fears.

    He totally blew his top off ordering me not to say a word about our cousins to anyone, not even to grandma. Now that I think about it I realise that I should never have asked such a dumb question in the first place, I've got to learn to think

  2. Crucible confession

    and the threatening character, to see a woman being portrayed like this is quite shocking to the audience. Elizabeth is expected to be an unloving and gossiping character by the audience. These two characteristics are shown by the way that John had an affair and when Abigail says that Elizabeth is 'blackening her name.'

  1. Examine miller's presentation of the marriage of John and Elizabeth proctor in the crucible. ...

    McCarthy and his suspicions ruined many peoples' lives. Jobs were lost, families torn apart, reputations not only bruised, but also scarred, and lives ruined. In the play, the same things happened, not only to the poor, but also to the well off, including reverends. One of the lives ruined in the play was John Proctor's and his family's, but in the end, almost everything was better.

  2. The Crucible - analysing acts 3 and 4.

    Finally [faintly] Elizabeth says "No, sir." In one interpretation of this play is a video of 1996 Nicholas Hytner film, which has music in it as dramatic devices. The stances are relevant to. When Elizabeth comes into the court place, Danforth is sitting on a chair behind a table, and Proctor on the left, with Abigail

  1. Explore the factors leading up to the death of John Proctor and comment on ...

    Tituba starts naming people she has seen with the devil Sarah Good, Goody Osbourn... When this name is mentioned Mrs Putnam who has three dead children now blames Goody Osbourn for the loss of these children as she was the midwife.

  2. John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

    John adamantly refuses to sign and confess another lie for this strong reason: ?Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I am not the worth the dust on the feet of them that hang!

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work