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The Crucible How does Tension build into Hysteria in Act III.

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Introduction

The Crucible contains many events that which precede the madness that ensues by the end of the play. Tension builds into Hysteria in several ways in Act III. The stage directions at the beginning of act III bring the audience straight into a heavy tense atmosphere. Adjectives like solemn and forbidding make the room seem oppressive; Miller uses a sense of realism to invoke the unforgiving atmosphere of the general court. Much of the Hysteria is built up in the crowd of town's people due to their extreme fear of witchcraft. This Hysteria off stage is often upheaval from the residents of Salem this also contributes to the chaos seen at the end of the play. 'Voices of towns people rise in excitement' There is a great imbalance of power even corruption in the courthouse with most of the power with Judge Hawthorne, dep. Governor Danforth and Rev. Parris . They can always avoid questioning due to their position and if ever questioned they call contempt of court. ...read more.

Middle

Giles Corey lowers the tension briefly bringing evidence to the court in the form of a disposition proving that his accusation against Mr. Thomas Putnam is true, that he accuses people of witchery in order to buy up their land once they are jailed or put to hang. A more modern version of this being the McCarthy trials of the 1950s. McCarthy used the fear of an attack by the Communist Soviet Union to build up hype in order to develop his career people were tried for treason if accused of having connections with the party this lead to people beginning to scapegoat each other. Tension rises again after Mary warrens confession. It was proved that she has lied at some stage and committed perjury a jail able offense. The entrance of Abigail increases the tension once again as Abigail says that Elizabeth Proctor keeps poppets meaning John's wife may have used some sort of voodoo against Abigail because Abigail was found stabbed with a dagger along with a poppet with a needle in it seemingly making her appear evil lowering John's credibility yet again. ...read more.

Conclusion

'It is a whore!'' this is probably due to the fact he is putting his own neck on the line. At this stage the tension for the audience goes down as there is a chance that Abigail might get found out although John is near hysterical. John is questioned one final time about everything that has already been said before Elizabeth enters to answer whether or not Abigail had an affair with John not knowing John has already confessed to the General court to expose the truth this rises tension bringing it to a pinnacle either John or Abigail will be ruined at this point. Elizabeth lies though, to save Johns reputation so he is not found to be an adulterer. Elizabeth is removed and for the second time Abigail claims to see spirits and from this point onwards there is sheer hysteria. At the very end Hale decides to quit the court after loosing his importance from when he arrived in Salem believing that there may be evil at work there to at the end of the scene where he believes Proctor and that the truth has become hazy at this point all John had fort for was lost. ...read more.

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