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

The Crucible - How does Arthur Miller creates a sense of tension and conflict between John and Elizabeth Proctor at the beginning of Act 2?

Extracts from this document...


How does Arthur Miller creates a sense of tension and conflict between John and Elizabeth Proctor at the beginning of Act 2? Arthur Miller's play The Crucible is set in Salem in 1692. At that time there was a lot of tension, as many people were being accused of witchcraft and being against G-d. In the play Miller shows how the accusations affected everyone in Salem. Miller creates a sense of tension by setting the scene in a "low, dark room." This room is quiet and gloomy as very little light is getting in. Miller does this to create an atmosphere which is unhappy and depressing. The tension is already high as the scene before ended with satanic accusations. The room is bare, which is unwelcoming, and it seems unlived in as nothing is out of place. Miller uses the scenery to bring atmosphere to the stage before the characters enter, he also uses the bareness to get the audience to focus purely on the actors and the dialogue. ...read more.


When Elizabeth and John converse they begin politely as if they are trying to be nice, but both characters seem tense when they are talking. John addresses his wife as "Elizabeth" when being affectionate, but this changes to "woman" as the tension rises. Elizabeth appears to be suspicious of John, we see this when John tells Elizabeth that he was alone with Abigail. This builds up most of the tension in the scene. Miller has done this to show how upset the character is. We can see this in the way Miller makes the character speak. "You where alone with her?" The action in this scene is minimal, Miller does this so the audience focuses on what Elizabeth and John are saying, rather than what they are doing. The movements they make are also there to show a change in the characters emotion, for instance when John stands to kiss Elizabeth; "he gets up goes to her and kisses her". ...read more.


Elizabeth is portrayed as a strong character which is unusual for this time. Miller makes her this way in order to create tension between John and Elizabeth. John is shown as a deceiver, as he is in the dominant of the two and keeps secrets from Elizabeth. We see proof of this when he adds more salt to the food that she had prepared earlier, without her knowledge, and later compliments her, "it's well seasoned". This is an empty complement. He further expresses his dominance by ordering her around "Woman. I'll not have your suspicion anymore". Men of this period where at a higher position in society they where seen to be strong and forceful, this is why John tries to press his dominance on her. Miller draws attention to this side of his character in order to heighten the sense of conflict between them. In The Crucible Miller wanted to create a sense of tension and conflict. He successfully used the beginning of act 2 to achieve this by clever use of lighting, sparse scenery, characterisation and dialogue. ...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. By What means does Miller create a sense of Expectations within his audience in ...

    to; Marco then lifts the chair easily, this proves that he is stronger and introduces the idea of violence. Marco greets this with a "Triumphant smile". Rodolfo dances with Catherine after the sparring match with Eddie to show Eddie that he loves her and is not just after American Citizenship.

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

    To see how Arthur Miller does this we have to analyse the character of John Proctor in the play. John Proctor is a complex character. He is respected in the town of Salem when he signs his confession Parris says 'It is a weighty name; it will strike the village

  1. Miller said The Crucible was about "the conflict between a man's raw deeds and ...

    It is also locally relevant in Guildford thinking about the events in the 1970s when the IRA bombed a pub. The police questioned many Irish people in the town for days and eventually four young people signed statements saying they were guilty (like Proctor)

  2. How Miller creates Tension and sustains the Reader's Interest in The Crucible

    The dramatic irony concerning the presence of witchcraft helps to emphasise the theme of hysterical behaviour which, in that respect, has a larger impact on the audience and produces more interesting scenarios from the audience's 0point of view. Another example of dramatic irony is during Act 3 when Elizabeth Proctor

  1. Explore key moments of tension within Act 2 and 3 of "The Crucible". How ...

    There is much evidence of a strained relationship as the exchanges between them are formal; Proctor: Pray for a fair summer. Elizabeth: Aye Proctor: Are you well today. Elizabeth: I am Elizabeth replies to John with one word answers as they struggle to communicate.

  2. Focusing on Act 3, to what extent is 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller an ...

    For example when Giles Corey the husband of Martha Corey presents his case he talks in 'helpless sobs' the effect this has on the audience is that he is ever determined to save and get his wife back and he has realised the mistake he has made.

  1. Consider how Miller creates and maintains tension in Act 3 of The Crucible?

    sound, demonic and ghostly, "we hear a prosecutor's voice, Judge Hawthorne's, asking a question; then a woman's voice, Martha Corey's, replying". The setting of this Act provides a lot of tension to keep the audience engaged. Another device that establishes unease is the stage directions.

  2. How does Arthur Miller create tension in Act Three of "The Crucible"?

    Because "The Crucible" is a play, stage directions are hugely important in getting across to the audience the meaning, and particularly in this scene, the significance of how characters behave. A very crucial stage direction in the courtroom is when John and Abigail are told to turn around -though Abigail

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