'The Crucible' - In what way does miller succeed in making the moment when Proctor tears up his confession particularly dramatic?

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‘The Crucible’ English coursework

 In what way does miller succeed in making the moment when Proctor tears up his confession particularly dramatic?

Miller creates a climatic dramatic atmosphere around John Proctor’s tearing of his confession through several methods.

Throughout the play Miller’s stage directions are precise and emotive but particularly during the majority of Act Four which revolves around John Proctor’s confession. Miller’s stage directions are consistent, graphic and poignant – giving no margin for error in one’s mind of how the characters are feeling and the dramatic tension in this closing period to the play. For example: Act Four where John is alone with Elizabeth discussing whether he should confess or not, Miller’s stage directions describe his movement “ …as though in physical pain, slowly rising to his feet with a great immortal longing…” 

This is a perfect example of how Miller’s directions tell you exactly how the character is feeling and moving, his stage directions are very effective in creating the right dramatic atmosphere for the play.

In the final scene when Proctor tears up his confession, Miller’s stage directions become frequent and almost poetic in his deep, dramatic descriptions of John Proctor’s movements and emotions, in the speech where John tears up his confession Miller’s stage direction reads: “…( with a cry of his whole soul ) …” such directions for Proctor help to create a very dramatic atmosphere to this final scene as we can imagine his emotions and body language, these deep, dramatic descriptions are applied to the emotions of other characters at this scene in the play which creates an all round dramatic atmosphere to the moment as it describes the whole desperate tension in the play- e.g. Parris’ reaction to Proctor’s tearing of his confession “… hysterically, as though the tearing paper were his life …” 

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Another way in which Miller creates such a dramatic atmosphere around John Proctor tearing his confession is the prolonged build up to this moment. The events leading up to this moment help set the dramatic scene, this final build up, after the court case with Marry Warren, starts around when Hale and Danforth approach Elizabeth Proctor trying to convince her to persuade John to sign the confession – In this scene Hale and Danforth know that John is innocent, this is the perfect beginning of the build up to John’s final scene as it shows the perversion of justice ...

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