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The Crucible - Ways in which Arthur Miller creates tension in the first act

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Introduction

The Crucible In this essay I am going to explore the ways in which the writer, Arthur Miller, creates tension in the first act of The Crucible. Some of the techniques he uses, and I am going to analyse are: pace, fear of witchcraft, disagreements, and the relationships between the characters. The play includes moments in which the pace is slow, this provides a contrast to the moments of climax, when the pace quickens. As there is a change in pace which the readers and viewers can't expect, the tension increases. For example, the scene in which a psalm is gently sung when, suddenly, Betty starts screaming. The play begins steadily and calmly, no tension is thought to be created. The upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris is slowly described, it gives the impression of being a peaceful place. "There is a narrow window at the left. Through its leaded panes the morning sunlight streams. ...read more.

Middle

And that is all. (...) I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. (...) I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!" Abigail talks about Proctor's wife, showing all her hate for her. "She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, snivelling woman, and you bend to her!" For the reader, the exclamation marks add emphasis. But for the viewer of the play, they mean something is shouted, which adds to the tension. "The psalm! The psalm! She cannot bear to hear the Lord's name!" One of the parts which boosts the tension the most is when Betty and Abigail both start crying out names hysterically. They announce who have they seen the Devil with: "I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil!" ...read more.

Conclusion

An important detail about this quote is that Abigail says this standing in front of Proctor. Tension rises, and the pace becomes quicker, because we don't know how might Proctor react; as we have seen he is not too romantic when dealing with girls. But Abigail won't give in, she still tries to make him want to go out with her again. "John - I am waiting for you every night." Proctor remains constant and is faithful to his wife. "Abby, I never give you hope to wait for me." It could be said there is romantic tension because at this point we know that Abigail will, sooner or later, take her revenge some way. She wants proctor with her, and she will do anything to anything to reach her objective. In my opinion, Arthur Miller has achieved his goal. He has made a good combination of different techniques in order to create tension throughout the whole play. The changes between slow and quick pace made the tension even more emphasised, and the introductions of the characters calmed down the pace but, at the same, time created a mysterious atmosphere. Andreu Llopis Garc´┐Ża Year 10 ...read more.

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