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The Crucible: In what ways does Miller succeed in making the moment when Proctor tears up his confession particularly dramatic?

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Introduction

The Crucible: In what ways does Miller succeed in making the moment when Proctor tears up his confession particularly dramatic? IN THE YEAR 1692, in the small Massachusetts village of Salem, a collection of girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and seizures. At this time people were extremely religious Puritans and frightening or surprising occurrences were often to do with the devil or his cohorts. Fears of witchcraft were made and it was not long before the girls, and then many other residents of Salem began to accuse other villagers of consorting with devils and casting spells. The Massachusetts government and judicial system, heavily influenced by religion, rolled into action. By the time it was all over nineteen people (and two dogs) had been convicted and hanged for witchcraft. Arthur Miller was born in New York City on October 1915 and wrote The Crucible in the early 1950s. Miller wrote the play when Senator Joseph McCarthy's, anti-Communism helped to start the United States in Cold War with the Soviet Union. As with the supposed witches of Salem, so called Communists were encouraged to confess and to identify other people as means of escaping punishment. As people began to realize that they might be condemned as Communists even if they were innocent many people tried to save themselves through false confessions, creating the image that the United States was overrun with Communists and therefore making panic and hysteria. Miller looked back and used the Mass Hestia as a parallel. ...read more.

Middle

This creates tension. Act 3 is set in a courtroom and this is important when considering who successful Act 4 is because it provides a context for the audience. In the italics Miller describes how there is little hope; he does this by using a two windows high up on the wall producing the only light in the room. This symbolises the John's fate. This indicates that only get justice form up high. In the beginning of the play, John could have stopped Abigail, but now it is too late. John knowing the truth tries to convince the court that she is lying, they just think he is saying this to save Elizabeth (John's wife), as he did not come forward until his wife is accused of being a witch. "We burn a hot fire here; it Melts down all concealment" This line from the trial strongly implies and links with the title the 'Crucible'. It also suggests hell fires, though Danforth means the fire of purification, and links with the motif of heat running through the text. What he says is not true, for his "hot fire" simply means encourages more people to lie and practise 'Concealment'. Danforth also reveals to us that Elizabeth is pregnant; due to this she is safe till the baby is born as they cannot harm the baby as it is innocent. But John not just coming to save his wife, he carries on to save all his friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

John is fighting with all of his soul against hell and the devil (Abigail). The 'Crucible' means when a metal is heated till it melts then cools down; at the end of the process the metal is purer. This is exactly what happens in the Crucible. The Towns system was completely wrong as it was like a ladder with the more important people at the top (Paris) and the bottom (Tituba). The ladder over the time has changed, with Abigail making her way higher up the ladder. Throughout the play Miller's stage directions are precise and emotive but particularly during most of Act Four which revolves around John Proctor's confession. Miller's stage directions are consistent and precise - giving no room for individual interpretation of how the characters are feeling and the dramatic tension in this closing period to the play. Act four where John is alone with Elizabeth discussing whether he should confess or not, Miller's stage directions describe his movement "As though in physical pain, slowly rising to his feet with a great immortal longing" In the final scene when Proctor tears up his confession, Miller's stage directions become frequent and almost poetic in his deep, dramatic descriptions of John Proctor, his movements and emotions, in the speech where John tears up his confession Miller's stage direction reads "With a cry of his whole soul" Such directions for Proctor help to create a very dramatic atmosphere to this final scene as we can picture his emotions and his body language with extreme precision; the dramatic descriptions are used to describe other characters around this point which creates an all round dramatic atmosphere. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 10/05/2007 ...read more.

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