• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far does Act 1 of "The Crucible" prepare the audience for the drama to follow?

Extracts from this document...


How far does Act 1 of "The Crucible" prepare the audience for the drama to follow? "The Crucible" was written by Arthur Miller and is performed all over the world. Many clues contribute to the way people question this play and how the dramatic suspense is built up. Details help create the atmosphere and keep the audience interested. Many meanings and allegory can be taken from this play with the help of some information already known. This play also explores many issues of this time and of the past. First of all the title is short and simple - "The Crucible". The meanings of crucible can be a severe test or trial, a melting pot or a vessel in which substances are heated to high temperatures. This can give the audience a brief idea of what the play may be about. The different meanings for just a simple word may indicate that the play deals with many issues and can involve trickery or confusion in a simple or small situation. The first scene opens with a view of Reverend Parris kneeling beside a bed praying. His daughter is lying on the bed, but the audience do not yet know this. This first view is shocking to the audience. He gives off a sense of confusion and begins to weep. This grabs the attention of the audience straight away and has dramatic potential. The audience will start asking questions already such as is he praying because he has done something to her? The audience may perceive that the girl is dying, but because the audience do not yet know the relationship of the reverend and the girl it keeps them questioning. The props used e.g. the candle, rafters, wooden furniture and the using of the shaft of light peeping through a small window gives the audience a good idea of the time in which this play is set. ...read more.


the foolish Giles Corey against the wise Rebecca. They are quick to jump to conclusions. For example when Betty screams as the Psalm is being sung, Ann Putnam says it is because she cannot bear to hear the Lord's name. This shows the audience that many are looking for an easy excuse and that they are na�ve. Already the audience can feel a dramatic climax approaching, as things get tenser. Hale enters with a feeling of authority and seems experienced as he lays down many heavy books, "...they are weighted with authority." He questions the group, which again gives the impression of a trial or test taking place (referring to the title). The questioning summarises what has gone on in the play so far: Hale - "You permit dancing?" Parris - "No-no, it were secret." Abigail will do anything to get shift blame from her by blaming an easy target, the slave-girl. When they begin naming names it is a very good point to leave that act. It keeps the audience engrossed in the story, as do the other dramatic climaxes e.g. when Abigail hits Betty or when Abigail begins to plead with Proctor. The climaxes tend to get more and more dramatic throughout this act, which gives the audience a feeling that the play will get more and more dramatic. Most of the audience's predictions are correct. They are right in a way that the story could be finding a cure, but the cure is for witchcraft and the cure is to hang people. However they are wrong in believing that Rev. Parris is a main character because as the play unfolds you realise that Abigail and John Proctor and his wife become the focus. John Proctor becomes the hero of the story. He does a very moral deed, which is very touching to the audience, Danforth - " ...You will give me your honest confession in my hand, or I cannot keep you from the rope. Which way do you go Mister? ...read more.


The justice issues with the play show the true fact that at the time you were doomed from the start if you were accused time. Arthur Miller did not only write "The Crucible" to entertain and educate us, but it also represented what was happening to him at the time. He had lived during what we could call a witch-hunt, also known as the McCarthy era. In the 1940s and 1950s America became obsessed with the fear of Communism. The government wanted to stop it, as they believed it would destroy the American way of life. People were put on trial about their beliefs and black listed just as the people of Salem experienced. Arthur Miller was also put on trial. You can compare him to John Proctor as he refuses to name names. John Proctor is a main character so it could be a reflection of how Arthur Miller perceives himself. This is probably why John Proctor is such a believable character. It also educates you in the way history has changed. Miller reminds you that it doesn't necessarily end in death as it did in the times the "The Crucible" is set. Many people must connect with this play if they have just gone through a time such as the two mentioned or where one is just about to begin. Arthur Miller's own saga goes through the same issues as "The Crucible" which is why it is so believable because he has experienced all the feelings for himself. It covers a variety of emotions, themes and issues which all keep it exciting and convincing for the audience. It has deeper meanings than portrayed and educates you in an inspiring way. It is no wonder that such a deep play has been so of witchery. There was no fair way you could prove yourself, as "The Crucible" shows. All the themes of this play: blame, reputation, personal freedom, morality, hysteria, confusion, injustice, fear, beliefs, deceit show exactly all the themes of that era. People began to look for so much hope in the Bible as they were so insecure at the successful. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. How does Goldsmith introduce us to comic situations in Act 1 of 'She Stoops ...

    Hardcastle and his daughter Kate, who is set to meet him as a prospective partner. This duologue is humorous because of Kate's abundant interest, then sudden discarding as different traits of Marlow are reeled off. She seems eager when she is informed that he is 'very generous...

  2. “All My Sons”: Examine the Dramatic Power of Act 3.

    Joe has a very different version of ideals, which could not compromise with Chris's. Joe believes entirely in the American Dream, implying that he does not care for much outside his family. Chris on the other hand claims to believe the contrary.

  1. How does Pete Shaffer engage the audience through tension in act 1 of ‘Amadeus’?

    stay by him, along with the somewhat unexplained and curious love she has for him. Constanze is shown by Shaffer to be the foundation and support of Mozart. He keeps taking her for granted, therefor creating tension, because due to his often pig ignorance to Constanze you are made to

  2. Language for The Crucible

    This helps enhance the understanding of the period that they were in as in our time we refer to people as Mr. or Mrs. or even Miss if they are not married. Another example of this is how other address John Proctor only by his surname for example in Act

  1. Plot for The Crucible

    As Proctor and Giles start to leave Reverend John Hale, a man known to be an authority on the matter of witchcraft, arrives from Beverly, with half a dozen of books. As he talks about the good charity that Rebecca has done Mr Putnam and Mrs Putnam ask if he

  2. Free essay

    royal hunt of the sun

    As the room is full Pizarro says to melt it down so it's easier to transport. Piz and Ata talk about his freedom and because he won't promise to not kill his men he will not let him go. In Piz's speech he tells about how death will stop his

  1. My drama script

    Scene 2 Both families were back in the poor state, no food, and no water, only a hut where they slept under. A popular boy, who stole money and worthy items, came along. He appeared rich but was all stolen items.

  2. Discuss how you would direct Mrs Betterton in 2 sections of the play, making ...

    This should be humorous for the audience because King Charles certainly does not care about the emptying of a p**s pot. Mrs Betterton should speak faster and faster throughout this speech to show her excitement and on the final line she should be waving her arms erratically around indicating each different country that King Charles is King of.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work