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The Crucible" is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s

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Introduction

" The Crucible" is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s. The play was originally produced in 1953 at a time where McCarthyism was at its peak. This was a time of American paranoia when Americans believed that the Russians were planning start a war with them. The Americans accused members of the society of been a communist spy for the most trivial reasons. It was a situation of hysteria. This was very similar to the situation in Salem two hundred years earlier. The people of Salem would believe anyone to be a witch even if they had very little or no evidence. Salem was governed by theocracy this meant the church ran the local government, therefore they had orthodox religious beliefs. Arthur Miller compares these two situations to show that we all should learn from past mistakes. The past events in Salem contributed to the situation in 1950s America, this shows Causation. The title reflects the play because a crucible is a container used to expose its contents to very high temperatures, this can cause impurities to rise to the surface, it's metaphoric meaning is a place of severe test or trial. In the play eighteenth century Salem becomes a Crucible, Judge Danforth creates a situation in which he is trying to force the supposed witches to the surface and purify Salem. ...read more.

Middle

Tituba is manipulated into saying what Reverend Hale wants to hear. Hale questions Tituba if she is a "good Christian woman" This question obliges Tituba to answer positively. It was a no win situation for Tituba, she did not have a choice in her answer since if she answered negatively then due to the nature of a Puritan society, the town would have strongly believed that Tituba was a witch. Resulting in Tituba been hanged. Hale starts asking Tituba a lot of questions in quick succession and Tituba answers them quickly thus creating stichomythia. This sets a quick pace, the questioning spirals out of control and the audience does not take Tituba's answers seriously since they are evidently forced. The most important question that is asked by Reverend Hale is "When the devil comes to you, does he ever come with another person?" This question is the one that carries on the chain of blaming other people. It is an opportunity for Tituba to accuse someone else, which will dilute the blame that is concentrated upon her. Suspense is created for the audience whether she will accuse another woman in order to save herself. When Tituba blames another women there is a sense of relief on stage. Tituba realises that the only way out is to transfer the blame to someone else. Miller wants to show the audience the similarity of the process of accusations in Salem and his contemporary America. ...read more.

Conclusion

The way the person that is mentioned first is usually the one who would be most remembered by the other characters but in this case all the people are mentioned to be seen with the Devil therefore making the other characters believe they are witches. Miller's last device in Act One is when the curtain falls and the girls carry on shouting, with the stage directions "ecstatic cries". The audience is left in shock because of the sudden end of a fast sequence of events and sudden tension that was built up on the final stages of Act one. The irony and events in act one are only a precursor of the climax in act three. In "The Crucible" the playwright Arthur Miller uses many techniques to attract and maintain the audiences' interest. These consist of dramatic irony, which is used since the audience know that Abigail is only accusing members of Salem of been witches in order to save herself. Miller also uses stichomythia, lighting, the stage directions and choice of characters to attract the audience. Miller wants to attract his audience to convey his message to the audience when McCarthyism was at its peak. Miller believed that McCarthyism was wrong, he wishes to show his dissatisfaction with the political situation in his contemporary America. He wants to show the audience not to support McCarthyism as it is wrong, it is very similar to the situation 300 years earlier in Salem. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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