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The Crucible - Form and Structure

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The Crucible - Form and Structure Arthur Miller uses various different techniques in the form and structure of 'The Crucible' to create suspense and maintain the audience's interest. Of course, one of the main factors of the form and structure of the play is its genre. 'The Crucible' can be described as being a symbolic play, a tragedy, a political play, an historical play and a narrative play in naturalistic form. It is symbolic, political and historic as although the story revolves around the Salem witch trials, the ideas and morals behind the plot can be viewed as Miller's criticism of McCarthyism. The play can also be seen as being narrative in a naturalistic form due to the lengthy set descriptions and stage directions followed by regular, natural yet stylised conversational prose. Obviously, the plot of 'The Crucible' is tragic as it ends with Miller killing off the main characters. One method Miller uses to keep the audience excited and interested is his use of high tension and climaxes. ...read more.


Miller uses exposition to make past events seem clearer such as the girls dancing in the forest at the beginning. By reference to past events by the play's characters, the audience can create an image in their mind's eye of what has happened without the need for flashbacks. For example, Thomas Putnam's past makes his actions seem even more inexcusable. Adding even more to the natural flow of the play, Miller does not use any non-naturalistic techniques such as monologues, so the audience feels directly involved in the action. The time span of 'The Crucible' stretches over about three months. To emphasise the change of time, Miller writes each act in a different location, leaving about a week between each act. Although this technique may be seen as being disjointed, the action is continuous, allowing Miller to create tension and suspense gradually and the audience to identify with the different characters, which is most easily shown through the character of John Proctor. ...read more.


As theses introductions happen in an enclosed space, it suggests the feeling of being imprisoned and the lack of privacy in village life. In contrast to this, Act Two begins with a conversation between Proctor and his wife creating tension not only by the change of space on stage, but also by adapting to a much slower dialogue with pauses. Through acting out various scenes from 'The Crucible', I have learnt that by ending each act with a cliff-hanger it is human nature which makes one feel like they must know more and what happens next. By forming each act as a story in itself, Miller heightens the atmosphere of mass hysteria due to this ongoing use of tension and climaxes. Miller succeeds in keeping the audience's interest flowing despite this way of a different story in each act by using subplots, for example, the rivalry between Giles Corey and Thomas Putnam. Altogether, 'The Crucible' is written with an easy to follow form and structure using pace, dialogue and action to aid builds of tension and climaxes and therefore remain interesting to the audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amelia Greco - L6D ...read more.

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