Essay on Building Tension in Act 2 of Miller's The Crucible

Essay on Building Tension in Act 2 of Miller's The Crucible

Length: 4406 words (12.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



The meaning of crucible is to ‘purify something by heat or pressure’. This is a reference to hell and the heat that it contains, as well as the pressure there is about not going there or being sent there for your sins. There are many characters within the play which could be ‘purified’, one of them being John Proctor. This is the play’s main character and plays the part of the tragic hero within it. He is fundamentally a good man, but he has committed lechery so has this on his conscience for much of his life. Towards the idea of his purification, Proctor redeems himself a the end of the play as he refuse the opportunity for a pubic confession and holds his good name until his death, his purification is in realising his flaws but upholding his honest and good nature, even though it is the cause of his death. Miller’s intentions for writing The Crucible were to present a parody of the political climate of the day to an audience, without directly showing the causes of the present day’s disruptive political context. Miller produced the play as an allegorical representation of the HUAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee) and the way in which the treated others and ‘upheld’ the law. Whilst doing this Miller had to be careful of the way he wrote the play, as a direct link to HUAC could, make him seem like a target for the organisation. An overview of the play could be: In Salem, in Massachusetts, a group of young girls went dancing in the woods with a black slave called Tituba. This was seen by the Reverend of the town, Reverend Parris (he was also a father and uncle of two girls who were dancing). The following morning two girls are found in a coma-like state, one with her eyes open, the other with her eyes closed, but neit...


... middle of paper ...


...ces: when he was convicted of contempt of Congress in May 1957 by HUAC. However, all of this ranking and authority is balanced by John Proctor and the way he handles the situation. He does this by tearing the warrant and going against what that law says the court has power to do. “You will not chain Elizabeth” His aggressive behaviour goes against the court and their seemingly calm front, despite the fact they are becoming increasingly aware that many of the people of Salem are starting to question the dependability of the court and the way in which that they are accusing, proving and arresting the suspects. Proctor stabilises the moral balance in this scene. The chaos of it all displays how ridiculous the whole scenario is, not just arresting Elizabeth, but suspecting anyone of this crime and how they use circumstantial proof to sentence those, innocent, to death.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Miller's Tension in Act I of The Crucible Essays

- Miller's Tension in Act I of The Crucible The anti-Communist hysteria during the 1950's led to a mass persecution of people associated with Communism. Post WW2 America was a nation if fear and suspicion because of the on going cold war with Russia, anyone one remotely connected to a known communist could be persecuted, this sparked a fear that Russia could take over the world. At the time a playwright, Arthur Miller could not express his feelings due to society's strong support for McCarthyism....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

Tension in Act One of Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

- Tension in Act One of Arthur Miller's The Crucible Miller builds up the tension using theatrical effects, language, the relationships of characters and the plot development, the structure of the act. He makes us visually aware of the tension using these tools. He needs tension as the story of the crucible is about witchcraft. Miller draws in the character of Proctor as himself, as Miller was caught up in communism in America and fought to maintain his dignity, as Proctor does, near the end of the book....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Creating Tension in Act 2 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

- Creating Tension in Act 2 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Arthur Miller's play The Crucible is set in Salem in 1692. At that time there was a lot of tension, as many people were being accused of witchcraft and being against God. In the play Miller shows how the accusations affected everyone in Salem. Miller creates a sense of tension by setting the scene in a "low, dark room." This room is quiet and gloomy as very little light is getting in. Miller does this to create an atmosphere which is unhappy and depressing....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on How does Miller Create and Maintain Tension in Act II of ‘The Crucible’

- Miller exacerbates tension throughout Act II of ‘The Crucible,’ which was written to incriminate the corrupt trials taking place in the McCarthy Era in America during the 1950s. In the Salem witchcraft trials accusations were made without evidence and this led to the death of those with unfortunate fate in 1692 as a result of the mass hysteria in the Salem community and Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ is an allegory of these trials. Salem, Massachusetts, was a strict puritanical society and during the witch hunts in Salem, nineteen people were hanged under accusations of being witches, one was pressed to death and thirteen died in prison....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
2562 words (7.3 pages)

How Miller creates Dramatic Tension in Act One of The Crucible Essay

- Twentieth Century Drama How does Miller create dramatic tension in Act One of "The Crucible". "The Crucible", by Arthur Miller, focuses on Theocracy and the effect it can have on a community, as well as on an individual. From Act One, Miller creates dramatic tension in many different ways. These include dramatic irony, and sudden twists in the plot, as well as the range of emotions that Miller's characters express both frequently and eloquently. As the curtain rises, the audience are curious as to why a man who is so clearly distressed is sat over the girl, Betty, who lies motionless and 'inert' on a bed....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
2717 words (7.8 pages)

Essay How Arthur Miller Creates and Sustains Tension in Act 4 of The Crucible

- How Arthur Miller Creates and Sustains Tension in Act 4 of The Crucible In act 4 of the play 'The Crucible' Arthur Miller uses the characters as the main device for creating and sustaining tension for the audience. He first uses reverend Parris to show tension in the act. At the beginning of this act, reverend Parris is already a changed man from what he was like before throughout the play. In the acts before, he was non-hesitant with what he did "(To Danforth, instantly)" or, "(He hurries)"....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Free Essays
988 words (2.8 pages)

Dramatic Tension in "The Crucible" by Miller Essay

- Dramatic Tension in "The Crucible" by Miller The Crucible Coursework Excitement, nervousness, stress, anxiety, suspense, unease, and apprehension are all forms of dramatic tension that Miller creates throughout the Crucible. Dramatic tension is created by Miller throughout the Crucible in many ways. Straightaway, the title of the play, “the Crucible” implies to the audience of the tension that is to come in the play. Miller names the play “the Crucible” to represent the puritanical society of Salem, the historic people of Salem wanted to purify each other from the Devil’s work, they even went to the extent of killing their fellow neighbours in order to purify them....   [tags: Miller Crucible Essays]

Powerful Essays
2960 words (8.5 pages)

Creating Tension and Drama in the Courtroom in The Crucible Essay

- Creating Tension and Drama in the Courtroom in The Crucible The crucible is about a mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials. A group of young girls are caught dancing in the woods and are suspected to of been calling out to the devil. Strange things begin to happen around the local village which are then suspected to be the work of the devil. Everyone in the village is to appear in court and faced with a death sentence. This fantastic and extremely tense play is written by Arthur Miller....   [tags: The Crucible Tension Witchcraft Essays]

Powerful Essays
2803 words (8 pages)

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

- Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller ‘You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.’ Assess the developments in John Proctor’s character that validate this statement. How does Miller create a sense of tension and suspense in the build up to this climatic moment in Act 4. In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible he has used many dramatic devices in order to create tension and build up to the climaxes of the story. Each act tells the audience more about the characters and gives insight into what others think of them....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
2228 words (6.4 pages)

Tension in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

- Tension in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Though 'The Crucible' is set against the background of the Salem witch trials in 1629, it reflects the McCarthy anti-communism trials of 1950s America. The citizens of Salem (Massachusetts) had Puritan beliefs and were very religious. Due to their strong Christian beliefs, there was a great fear that people could form compacts with the devil and they even believed witchcraft and supernatural events really existed. Arthur Miller describes the mass hysteria which hit Salem to establish to the audience the vulnerable, narrow-minded personalities of the characters, by their height of paranoia and level of anxiety....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Powerful Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)