The Crucible provides us with an example of a masterpiece of dramatic writing. In this play Arthur Miller gives us a stimulating example of the use of a variety of theatrical techniques. His most powerful scenes in "The Crucible" have common characteristics: very effective use of stage actions, long build-ups of suspense that come crashing down in thundering climaxes, intense displays of emotion and an abundance of dramatic irony. These are my three chosen scenes: p46-50: "Tituba........Devil!", p98-100: "She thinks.......Oh God" and p101-105: "You will.....Mr Hale!". Because of the importance of these scenes as key moments in the play Miller makes them dramatically superb so that the "No,sir" by Elizabeth that decides the outcome of dozens of lives and of her own and her husband’s, John Proctor is also the climax of the most effective build-up of suspense in the play. The effectivness of these scenes is also enhanced by powerful characters such as John Proctor and Danforth who display such intensity in their emotions and actions that the audience can not help but be moved. But most of all, these scenes show Miller’s theatrical qualities so that by the end of each of these scenes we not only understand his message but also find ourself convinced by his arguments .
The dramatic impact of a play is enhanced when the audience understands all the different aspects of the main characters. It helps them become more involved and at the same time gives the author the chance to display some dramatic irony. Miller uses stage actions to that end in the first chosen scene of "The Crucible". In this scene Tituba’s inner conflict and Hale’s resolution is clearly expressed through the stage actions. Tituba first denies having seen ...
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"The Crucible" is considered by many Miller’s masterpiece, it both displays his dramatic and theatrical qualities in such a way as to make it disturbing and socially relevant. In it one can find his views on society as a whole and on current events such as Mccarthyism which similarily to the medieval Church and justice system searched for individuals who by their ideals and ideas they felt threatened the supremacy of their system. Miller made "The Crucible" the starting point for the audience to reflect on their own society and culture. But at the same time Miller polished his deep philosophical work with superb stage directions, likeable characters and nerve-racking suspense.
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: Fact & Fiction
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: A Screenplay. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.