Arthur Miller's The Crucible
The Crucible is based on the 'Salem Witch Trials' in 1692. In act 1
the audience find out that John Procter had an affair with Abigail
Williams, who was dancing in the woods, and that she still has
feelings for him. When John denies their love Abigail starts accusing
people of witchcraft. Act 2 is when we meet Elizabeth Procter who gets
arrested on suspicion of witchcraft. In act 3 John goes to court
trying to free his wife and the others but without much luck as he
gets accused of mixing with the devil. He is then arrested. In act 4
John is willing to take the blame so that he and the others will stay
alive. In the end John, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey all hang
because John thought it was the right thing to do as other people, who
were also innocent, had hung before them.
Arthur Miller found that what happened in Salem in 1692 was repeated
in McCarthyism in 1956. The signing of names away and the petitions
was very much alike in both situations.
John Procter was a farmer in his middle thirties. He was married to
Elizabeth Procter and they had two sons. John had had an affair with
Abigail Williams and even though he denies their love he still has
feelings for her. When Abigail goes to kiss John in the film, John
does not pull away straight away; he kisses her then pulls away.
Elizabeth hates Abigail and even refuses to go to church because she
will be there. Elizabeth tries hard to forgive John for his sin but
she cannot do it.
When we first meet Elizabeth, she and John are eating. There is a lot
of tension in the room. The actors speak short sentences, which are
about nothing in particular. It seams that they are talking because
they have to not because they wan...
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...uldn't. "I say God is dead!" Just
by saying these five words is as good as confessing to being in
contact with the devil. John is then arrested.
In act 4, just before John is about to hang, he and Elizabeth speak
alone. There are a lot of short sentences and then John asks about his
baby. Hathorn interrupts asking weather John wants to confess to
witchcraft and stay alive or weather he wants to hang with the others.
John decides to confess. Elizabeth is happy with whatever decision
John decides to make as long as he lives-"I want you living John,
that's for sure."
As John has to 'sign away his name' and leave it above the church
door, he gets annoyed and rips up the confession. They take John away
to hang but before they go John speaks to Elizabeth, "Give them no
tears! Tears pleasure them." It's as if he was telling her that
everything would be o.k.