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The Crucible - John and Elizabeth's relationship

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Introduction

'THE CRUCIBLE' ESSAY. How does Arthur Miller present the change in John and Elizabeth's relationship in the play 'The Crucible'? Arthur Miller uses a range of techniques to present the change including what is directly said and devices that are not verbal such as the stage directions. As you read the play you can see that John and Elizabeth's relationship changes. In the beginning they are cold to each other, but as the play goes on their relationship strengthens. Judgement, religion (guilt, forgiveness), hysteria are some of the themes that are shown in John and Elizabeth's relationship. 'Salem Witch Trials' happened in 1692 and Arthur Miller wrote the play in 1953. At that time 'McCarthyism' took place. He wrote 'The Crucible' to show how similar and ridiculous these two events were. In Act 1 it is revealed that John and Abigail had an affair before the play begun. John regrets that it ever happened and this is shown by this quote: "Abby, you'll put it out of mind. I'll not be comin' for you more". On the other hand Abigail says: "John-I am waitin' for you every night". This shows that Abigail wants their relationship to last. She loves John and that's why she drank a charm to kill Elizabeth. In act 1 Elizabeth is an 'absent presence'. This is one of the dramatic techniques A. ...read more.

Middle

When Mary Warren comes and tells them that Elizabeth is 'somewhat mentioned' in the trials, John tries to defend his wife. After Mary Warren goes to her room, John and Elizabeth fight again. Then Mr Hale comes and they team up again. John tries to defend Elizabeth again. In Act 3, the courtroom scene John admits that he cheated on Elizabeth. He admits that he had an affair with Abigail. John says: "I have known her, sir. I have known her". John is saying that he knows what kind of person Abigail is and why she is accusing innocent people of being witches. John admitting shows how desperate he is in defending Elizabeth. So he had to own up to being a lecher. After John confesses, Mr Danforth orders Mr Paris to bring in Elizabeth so she can prove that John is telling the truth. What Elizabeth does not know is that John has already confessed. When Mr Danforth asks her: "To your own knowledge, has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery? Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher!" After hesitating she answers: "No, sir". Elizabeth thought that she was defending John, but instead she made him look like a liar. This part of the play is very important, because if she did not lie John would not have died and they would have been together. ...read more.

Conclusion

She replies: "John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself". Elizabeth is saying that John should forgive himself first before she forgives him. Elizabeth also says: "Do what you will. But let none be your judge. There will no higher judge under Heaven than Proctor is! Forgive me, forgive me". This quote shows both judgement and forgiveness. John and Elizabeth's love is not shown until the end of the play. We see that they truly love each other in Act 4 before the hanging. Near the end John 'kisses her now with great passion'. This is the first time we see John and Elizabeth kiss passionately and that shows that their relationship has been restored. 'The Crucible' is based on 'McCarthyism'. At the time when Arthur Miller was writing the play everyone was being accused of being a communist. Arthur Miller wrote 'The Crucible' because he wanted to show how ridiculous 'McCarthyism' and 'Salem Witch Trials' were. He wanted to show the terrifying power of false accusations and how everyone was caught up in hysteria. In conclusion Arthur Miller presents the change in John and Elizabeth's relationship by using a range of techniques like stage directions, metaphors and others. He uses stage directions to show how the characters are feeling and tells a little bit about the characters like in the beginning of Act2. He also uses metaphors to make the characters' quotes more powerful and make it easier for the audience to understand what is being said. ...read more.

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