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

'The crucible' - Importance of the beginning of scene one to the play on the whole.

Extracts from this document...


'The crucible' coursework. Importance of the beginning of scene one to the play on the whole. In the year 1692, in the small Massachusetts village of Salem, some village girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and strange, unexplainable behaviour. In the Puritan New England, startling incidents were often blamed on the devil. Soon the girls, and then other residents of Salem, began to accuse other villagers of associating with the devil. The Massachusetts government and judicial system, heavily influenced by religion, rolled into action. Within a few weeks, dozens of people were in jail on charges of witchcraft. By the time the 'trend' had finished, in late August 1692, nineteen people had been condemned and hanged for witchcraft. In Salem there was a suspicion around anyone outside social normality, because a non- conformist private life acted as a threat. Danforth says in Act III, "a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it." Structurally, every scene has its own story and the story could be understood without the previous acts. The first and second are explanations, the third is action-oriented and provides the strongest climax, while the fourth the conclusion, and also a tragedy in itself. ...read more.


Hysteria overcomes logic and lets people to believe that their neighbours are committing strange and unbelievable crimes-involving the devil, killing babies, and making love potions. The most obvious case is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail. The ruthless Thomas Putnam gains vengeance on Francis Nurse by getting Rebecca, Francis's wife, convicted of the murders of Goody Putnam's babies. Others prosper on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris reinforces his position in the village, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority. For my coursework I chose to do the beginning of Act 1. I chose to do this scene as it is the starting point of the play and contains a lot of background information and then goes on to back up this information by showing many relationships and reactions of many of the characters to an unusual situation. As the play opens, Reverend Parris kneels, praying in front of Betty's bed. Parris is a strict man suffering from paranoia. Betty Parris lies in a motionless, unresponsive way. Parris has sent for Reverend John Hale of Beverly, a specialist on witchcraft, to decide whether Betty is bewitched. ...read more.


It shows the human necessity for survival, and the lengths at which a person will go to save themselves. There is the idea of honor and truth. Proctor tries to save his life but gives it up to reveal the truth and keeps his reputation. Through his struggle he achieves righteousness. 'The crucible' the film was produced in the 1990s. The film has been changed from the play in some minor respects. For example, the film opens with a scene of the town girls sneaking into the woods and participating is a ritualistic dance with the slave woman Tituba- until they are all caught by Parris. In the play this scene was referred to, but not performed. Another change is that the Slave woman Tituba is portrayed as black, when she was actually an Indian. I conclude that act one is the most important scene in the play as it sets the scene and gives the audience important information on many aspects of the history of the characters and the town in which the play was set. The play reminds its audience of a nasty time in human history. It reminds us that man is not perfect, and that we can make mistakes. However, even with these mistakes, we can cleanse ourselves and purify ourselves by making what is wrong right. ...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 Coursework

    In Act 3 there are two occasions where Miller uses strength to create tension. In the beginning of the Act, Miller only lets the audience hear the characters' voices; he doesn't allow the audience to visually see the characters. This stagecraft effect creates tension because by only allowing the audience

  2. To what extent can 'The Crucible' be viewed as a Classical Tragedy?

    This point can certainly be applied to John Proctor, he is a lecher, it was his affair with Abigail Williams that led to her beginning the accusations as she aimed to kill Elizabeth Proctor and so gain Proctor for herself.

  1. "The Crucible" as a piece of drama is structurally flawed. It reaches a climax ...

    Elizabeth Proctor on the very beginning is called by Abigail "cold, snivelling woman", it is a first information the audience learn about her. Later, in Act 2, the audience can see how cold her house is. Her relationship with John is cold, but audience can 'feel' the tension between them.

  2. There is a clear parallel between the events of 1692 in Salem and the ...

    weighed the same as a duck, in both trials the logic used was false and had little or no meaning. In both events the accused had little or no hope of defending themselves as everyone jumped on the bandwagon and were accusing them of being a witch based on every reason they could think of.

  1. Summary Act one begins with Reverend Parris praying over her daughter, Betty Parris

    John Proctor - Main character. He is a good man, but has committed adultery with Abigail. Elizabeth Proctor - John Proctor's wife. She is an upright woman who is accused of being a witch. She couldn't forgive Proctor for adultery until just before he died. Mary Warren - Proctor's servant.

  2. The Crucible - summary.

    A second theme that Miller establishes is the ability of persons to choose whichever position suits their self-interest. Abigail Williams shows the ability to affirm or deny any charge against her based entirely on whether it serves her needs, while Tituba, when charged with witchcraft, denies it only until she

  1. The Crucible as a piece of drama is structurally flawed. It reaches a climax ...

    We find this out in Act 4 when John Proctor is asked to implicate his fellow townspeople, just as Arthur Miller was when he was called upon by an American organisation. They had reason to believe he was a secret communist.

  2. The Most Compelling Scene in 'The Crucible'

    This scene is a contrast to the earlier scene where Elizabeth and Proctor are again being extremely careful as to what they are saying to each other, but for different reasons. Here, it is obvious that they care very much for each other, and may be afraid of saying that

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