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Essay about Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"


'The Crucible' was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was brought
before a committee in 1956 to answer charges of 'communist sympathy'
and to name the people he had had meetings with up to twenty years
before. Liberal writer, film directors, actors and actresses were all
called before the committee. The committee often had lists of names of
people who had attended meetings yet they still forced witnesses to
recite names, to see if they would comply and give the right names.
This action and others performed by the committee lead Arthur miller
to associate his treatment and the treatment of others with the
witchcraft trails that had taken place in Salem, Massachusetts, USA,
two centuries before. He felt as if it was a historical parallel and
in a sense history was repeating itself.

Act 1 begins with a simplistic scene. A small room, a narrow leaded
window to the left- sunlight streaming through. A candle burning next
to a bed to the right of the room. The only furniture: a chest, a
chair and a small table. A very minimal room which links in with the
very disciplined, forbidding, severe way of life that the Puritans
followed. From the setting it is obvious the play is not set in
current times.

In this sparsely furnished room, a man is kneeling beside the bed,
praying over a small child. The impression all is not well is given
away by the fact that the child is very still, as if in a deep sleep,
even though it is evident that it is daytime. Even before any dialog
has begun the audience is already apprehensive, as they are able to
sense the tension in the air.

As Tituba enter, she does not say anything that the audience has not
already deducted from the scene that...


... middle of paper ...


...ing a pointy reckoning that will shudder
you', the threat is serious and the audience now know Abigail's full
potential. She goes on to say: 'I saw Indians smashing my dear
parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, I have seen some reddish
work done at night.' Abigail is an orphan, and probably bears mental
scars from seeing her parents' dead. The audiences have previously
heard of how Abigail was discharged from working at Goody Proctor's
service. The audience wonders what has gone between Goody Proctor and
Abigail, this prepares the audience for the future story lines.

John Proctor enters and the tale of his affair with Abigail unfolds.
This is a change in themes in the play, from witchcraft and unnatural
goings on to jealousy, deceit and hatred. This opens another plot line
within the story, and prepares the audience for a wider variety of
issues.


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