The Crucible Arthur Miller

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The Crucible

Arthur Miller uses many dramatic devices in “The Crucible” in order to grasp the attention of the audience. His characters appear to be multifaceted and he reveals numerous sides of their personalities during the play. Miller creates complex relationships within the play and this secures the attention of the audience.

 We are not introduced to John Proctor until half way through act one; he is presented to the audience as a “farmer in his middle thirties”. We are given the impression that he is a very dominant man “he was a man-powerful of body”, in addition to his power he had earned considerable respect in Salem “Proctor, respected and even feared”. At this stage in the play it becomes apparent that John Proctor is an honourable, righteous man with great respect for his power within the community. But is he?

 In Proctor’s introduction Miller describes him ambiguously leaving a lot to be uncovered. Proctor does not see himself as a respectable man, he sees himself as a “kind of fraud”, at this point the tension begins to mount and we are left wondering why. The character that was introduced as a good, moral man has a hidden flaw. But what could it be? The once pure face of John Proctor now appears to have been blackened; he is a sinner “against his own version of misconduct”. This is ironic as Proctor is said to have “a sharp and biting way with hypocrites”.

 When Abigail Williams enters the tension rises and the audience witness her flirting with Proctor, “Give me a word, John. A soft word”. Abigail is desperately craving his attention. He is very abrupt in his reply “no, no Abby. That’s done with”, the tension starts to rise again as we begin to uncover Proctors haunting secret. Abigail is realizing high levels of frustration, John refuses to back down, and he is resisting her powers of seduction. At this point the audience would be feeling sympathetic towards Abigail, she seems to be distraught over her rejection. But is it all an act to make John feel a sense of remorse towards her? But they would also feel sympathy for John, although he only has himself to blame there was “no ritual for the washing away of sins” and he had to keep his secret to protect his name. The audience would also admire John for trying to resurrect his marriage by resisting temptation. They would also understand his depression, as during that time there was no forgiveness.

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As she clutches him in desperation he unintentionally calls her “child”, “how do you call me child” her anger rises and she is left feeling insignificant and vulnerable. This is ironic as this “child” had previously been his lover, her anger rises and she is left feeling insignificant and vulnerable. The tension reaches its peak as Abigail loses her temper and speaks badly of Elizabeth “She is blackening my name. She is a cold snivelling woman”. As John gets up to leave Abigail resorts to crying, “Pity me, pity me” she says but Miller innovatively ends the scene as ...

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