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With close reference to three or more key moments from ‘The Crucible’ discuss how Millers writing is both dramatic and relevant to a modern audience

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Chris Rose 5 February 2002 GCSE English Literature Major Coursework Assignment 20th Century Drama With close reference to three or more key moments from 'The Crucible' discuss how Millers writing is both dramatic and relevant to a modern audience Arthur Miller was born in New York in 1915 and has written many successful books and plays. 'The Crucible' was one of the major plays of the 20th century and was written by him in response to the anti-communist hearings made by Senator Joe McCarthy. Arthur Miller himself was called before the American Congress Committee in 1956 and found himself in much the same dilemma as John Proctor. He was asked for a list of people who had attended a former meeting. He denied to produce a list and was fined for contempt of congress. 'The Crucible' is a play about a love lost teenager (Abigail) who is rejected by the married man she is in love with (John Proctor). In her revenge she aims to win him over but instead rips up the rigid structure of Salem and fans a complex society into an ignorant hysteria. Ironically, the one she aims to get back, John Proctor, is hanged. ...read more.


Lots of the characters under go personal development: for example Reverend Hale, who at first is all to eager to 'shout witch' but in the end is very disbelieving. My personal belief is that the events are a testament of how people shouldn't live in a social structure that is overly tight. A crucible is a metal container in which metals are melted to extract their pure element from the impurities. This can easily be linked to the play: first witches supposedly boil potions in cauldrons and a synonym for cauldron is crucible. Secondly, it has a metaphorical meaning: the society of Salem is being heated and stirred in an attempt to remove the impurities and leave only the pure members of the society. An artificial Noah's Ark, as it were, however this plan backfires some. Act 1 mainly revolves around Abigail and the girls being caught dancing in the woods. The drinking of blood is supposedly a charm to kill Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail wants to be with Proctor after Elizabeth kicked her out for having an affair with Proctor: "I know that you clutched my back out side your house and sweated like a stallion when ever I come near, or did I dream that? It is she put me out, you cannot pretend it were you. ...read more.


This parallels with the relationship between John and Elizabeth. There's is a great amount of tension between the pair, and they idly make chit-chat at the table, as they feel they need to: "Proctor: Pray now for a good summer. Elizabeth: Aye" It should be noted that it is Proctor who is trying to make conversation; Elizabeth is spoiling his attempts with one-word answers. Proctor is feeling frustrated because Elizabeth is not acknowledging that Proctor is trying his hardest to repair the relationship. He is forever claiming his desire to please Elizabeth: "I mean to please you Elizabeth." - Proctor I believe that the audience would to be getting frustrated with Elizabeth not forgiving him. The tension in the audience would also rise, due to the complete lack of any sexual tension. Arthur Millers 'The Crucible' raised issues that were as relevant in the 1950's as they were today. The idea of conformity will always exist. People who define this ideologies and beliefs by which groups of people live will always exist. As will accusations made towards one group from another group, to solve their problem, or help their cause. Arthur Millers play took on some very strong issues, that are still relevant to date, it is one that cannot be ignored because of Millers ability to touch issues and themes that have plagued mankind all through history, and will continue to do so in the future. ...read more.

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