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The Crucible - How does Arthur Miller make Act III of the Crucible exciting for the audience?

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller make Act III of the Crucible exciting for the audience? Act III of The Crucible is the most exciting act of the play. It keeps the audiences on the edge of their seats, gets them laughing and crying. The Crucible has a lot of influences. One of these is the actual events that took place in Salem in 1692, this makes the audience more interested as they can learn something about the past. Another influence is the 1950s McCarthy 'witch-hunt' that was going on when the play was first written and performed. This means that the audience can empathise with the characters to a certain extent. In the first two acts, accusations of witchcraft slowly become more serious. At first Abigail is only in a small about of trouble for dancing in the woods, but when her uncle suspects witchery she starts throwing accusations of witchcraft at innocent people. The audience start to see Abigail and the other girls as the 'Baddies' and John seems to be a 'Good Guy'. We also find out that John had an affair with Abigail; this brings a sense of sexual tension to the play. John's wife, Elizabeth, gets arrested, leaving the audience wondering whether or not she will get hanged! Just before Act III begins, there is an interval. This will give the audience time to think about what they have just seen and to speculate about what will happen next. ...read more.

Middle

Danforth orders the ninety-one people to be arrested, which is bad news for Francis as he promised them they would have no trouble. After this, Francis says very little. After that catastrophe, Giles quickly steps in with an attention-grabbing accusation. He says there is a witness that states Putnam told his daughter to "cry witchery upon George Jacobs". However this also backfires on them, as he gets arrested for contempt of court for not giving the name of his witness. The audience are taken aback by this, and will be waiting for the 'Goodies' to take the lead again and hoping Giles will not get hanged. Mary and John are trying to tell the court that she was lying before, and that the other girls are pretending and condemning innocent people. The audience are pleased, as it seems the Judges believe them, however this soon changes. Hathorne asks if the girls were pretending to faint in court before, and although she confirms this, she fails to prove it. This disappoints the audience, as they know that Mary is being truthful. To make things worse, the girls start screaming, claiming that Mary is sending a cold wind onto them. Mary denies this accusation, but the Judges do not believe her. At this point the audience are wishing that the judges could see that the girls are fakes. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience are shown the effect that religion has on the lives of the characters and how the Bible can relate to real life. There is also a lot of old fashioned language, the sort that would have been spoken in the seventeenth century. The audience will find the play more believable if the correct kind of language is used. The women are referred to as 'Goody', meaning 'good wife.' This is the sort of language used in the 1600s and is far more interesting for the audience to listen to than modern day English. There is also a small amount of Latin used in the play to show the knowledge and power of a character. Danforth uses the Latin phrase 'ipso facto' to show that he is an intelligent and powerful man. A threat is something that can keep an audience interested in a scene. Giles says, " I will cut your throat." This is a direct threat, leaving the audience in suspense, waiting for an act of violence. However there is no violence in the act. There is also a small amount of humour. Giles gives a very graphic image when he says, "A fart on Thomas Putnam." This is a very simple form of humour, but it is still amusing to the audience. In my opinion Act III is by far, the most interesting act of the play. It has shocking plot twists, lies, threats and humour. Miller uses a variety of different techniques to keep his audience in suspense, and he does so very well. ...read more.

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