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The Final Act is John Proctor's Stand in Court Against the Evil in his Society. Examine why he makes his individual Sacrifice and Explore how Miller Creates Dramatic Tension in this final act.

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Introduction

The Crucible Coursework - Ruth Heatley 10NP The Final Act is John Proctor's Stand in Court Against the Evil in his Society. Examine why he makes his individual Sacrifice and Explore how Miller Creates Dramatic Tension in this final act The Crucible set in 1692, tells the story of a witch-hunt in Salem Massachusetts, a small Puritan community. Written by Arthur Miller in 1962, it is told through the eyes of John Proctor, a well-known man in Salem, whose adulterous involvement with Abigail Williams - the ringleader of the witch-hunt accusations, leads ultimately to the sacrifice of his own life. Puritanism was the only religion in Salem and brought with it strict rules that had to be adhered to. Puritans believed that every soul was predestined for heaven or hell and had a strong belief in the devil and his temptations, anyone seen to break any of the stern laws set down by the church suffered severe punishment, the harshest of which being death. The final act in the play shows John Proctor's stand in court against the evil and corruption in his society. When his wife is called into question and accused as a witch, he realises he must face the court and tell them the truth. ...read more.

Middle

The presence of Rebecca Nurse, a saint in his eyes, the importance of his name are all important factors as to why John Proctor gives up his life, but he also realises he will die a good man. It is the one good thing he can do for Elizabeth after all the pain he has caused her. There is a dignity in what he is doing for himself, Elizabeth and his own community. He is an important figure in his society and by standing up to the corruption and being brave enough he is truly doing the right thing but not just for himself. The last act shows John proctor's emotions and his own physical bodily actions 'in agony', but when he tears up his false testimony his can stand up straight for the first time. His death will also bring redemption from his own guilt. He has made a statement as to how un-just and corrupt their justice system was, and by leaving behind a world of prosecution and pragmatism he has become a man of principle. In act four, John Proctor decides to give up his own life rather than confess to being with the devil falsely. We encounter Proctor as a different character, a martyr, almost Christ like. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the main reasons for the audiences' compassion is throughout the final act we see that although John Proctor has committed an unpardonable sin against his wife, you can see that when they meet for the final time, Elizabeth has finally forgiven him and their true love shines through for the first time. The play was filled with various different emotions, sins, politics, forgiveness and morals that altogether made it very real, and the fact that it was based upon genuine proceedings also made it very convincing. I thought the play was a real insight to what religion mixed with power can do to people, and what some of the consequences may entail. I enjoyed 'The Crucible' especially because it did not have a predictable ending and Arthur Miller keeps the audience guessing the over all conclusion until the very end of the play. I also enjoyed it because the overall hero was not completely faultless and his stand against the imploring corruption in his community was an excellent example of how quiet unlikely people can sometimes make the most difference. Arthur Miller uses many ideas as to why John Proctor makes his final decision, and uses character interaction, dialogue and stage directions to convey dramatic tension. The actions of the characters especially show the emotional strain in the last act when finally Proctor shows what a man he actually is. ...read more.

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