An interesting extract of dramatic tension is in Act One of the play and sees Miller amplifying tension by using Abigail‘s struggle to evade the consequences of her actions and her frantic attempts to transfer the blame from herself to others. She hesitates repeatedly as her answers differ and contradict each other in reply to her uncle admitting that Abigail that she was involved with the sinners. Abigail betrays Tituba, and so increases the tension on the stage, as a confused Tituba is whipped and punished after Abigail accuses her of witchcraft. Abigail stammers that it was “Tituba, Tituba...” and trails off nervously to see whether the men believe her accusations of witchcraft.
The tension in this extract climaxes as we see Tituba violently interrogated with questions such as “Woman, have you enlisted these children for the devil?” This is a key episode in the play as it is the first accusation of witchcraft, ...
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... hysteria that is when John dies. The hidden sins and family secrets provide a good base for the tension in Salem which has feuds and bitterness added to them in situations to heighten it to substantial levels. One may view that tension is created by the themes of betrayal, self importance and reputation in Salem as they are the reason that there are feuds and friction in the town. The tension may not be created by hysteria, but hysteria can be seen as a great fuel for it as in the scenes when tension is peaking, hysteria is evident with people shouting, fighting and screaming and this is shown through Miller’s use of caesurae which emphasizes the shouting and abrupt sentences that accompany hysteria. However, finally tension is resolved with the death of John Proctor who not only takes away Salem’s sins but also the feuds and tension that peaked around his death.
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