Metaphor In The Crucible

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Throughout The Crucible, author Arthur Miller uses dramatic conflict, metaphor, imagery, descriptive staging instructions, biblical allusion and a variety of other representational techniques to illuminate and develop the issues surrounding people and politics throughout the play. Such issues include the characterisation and portrayal of those in power; the driving motivations of a range of characters; the means through which characters achieve and maintain power; and how the role of power differences in relationships between characters. The use of these devices within an extended metaphor for the 1950’s context of US McCarthyism allows Miller to demonstrate the relatively stagnant nature of people and politics (in that a situation within the…show more content…
Due to the lack of an omniscient storyteller revealing details of characters as they’re introduced, examination of Helena’s motivations and convictions come through Cosima’s interpretation of her actions; “but if you were a messed up abused loner whose faith compelled you to belong”. Before this discussion, Helena’s violent actions could easily have been misconstrued as for a variety of motives. The protagonist, Sarah, admits that while Helena’s actions were wrong, they were understandable in her situation; “Yeah, I might become an angry angel too. Got it.” The metaphor in the statement of an “angry angel” representing Helena’s violent rage and the contrast produced when exposed alongside her innocent self-justification. As the story continues, and Helena is slowly redeemed in the eyes of the protagonist, it becomes clear that in order to correctly judge one’s actions, the judge must have an understanding of the context and motivations of the accused; judgement can never be completely…show more content…
Though he is a lecher and a sinner by his contextual Puritan standards, he is relatable to a 1950’s audience in a Christianised America. He is an ordinary man who has made mistakes, but is inherently good and is morally redeemed at the end of the play. John Proctor is dealt an injustice (the accusation of his wife of the practice of witchcraft, and his eventual signing of the legal that he was sentenced for witchcraft). Proctor is guided for much of the play by his desire to save Elizabeth, though these actions are not always quite ethical or compassionate, as recounted by Mary Warren: “ ‘I’ll murder you,’ he says, ‘if my wife hangs!’ “ In the style of a tragedy, Act 4 sees Proctor grieving for his morality metaphorically beyond repair; “My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man.”. Though Elizabeth assures him there is good in him yet, Proctor sacrifices himself by signing the legal document and being sentenced to hanging. Though Proctor was not a righteous man, it is the self-sacrifice for a crime that he did not commit that echoes (through biblical allusion) Jesus’ own death and assures John Proctor’s eventual

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