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Arthur Miller, The Crucible "Explain How Tension Is Created In Arthur Millers 'the Crucible'"

1509 words - 6 pages

In “The Crucible” there is a lot of tension that builds gradually throughout the play. Tension is a very important factor in “The Crucible” and Arthur Miller uses a lot of different techniques to create and illustrate it. The tension repeatedly rises, and then falls. This could be displayed in a graph.The graph would start with small peaks, and as the tension escalates the peaks would gradually become higher. Note every peak would be higher than the previous to show a gradual build of tension throughout the whole play.I am going to focus mainly on the end of act one, and the start of act two. I will explore the two scenes in great detail, and compare how the tension is similar and how it is different.The first thing that is striking to the audience is the setting of an act or scene. Straight away the audience is intrigued by this play. The end of act one takes place in Betty Paris’ very small and intimate bedroom. There is only a little bit of light in this scene, which comes from a small window and a single candle that burns on a table. There are 12 people, if not more, cramped in to this claustrophobic space. This makes the scene seem even more tense. Also the secret private conversations intrigue the audience and raise their involvement.The second thing that makes the audience feel on edge, is when Hale and Paris start interrogating Abigail. They continuously fire non stop questions at her, barely even giving her time to think:“(quickly) What jumped in ?”“(blanched) She called the devil ?”This continual use of interrogatives would be unnerving to the audience as they would feel pressured and on edge. The script is very jumpy and has a fast tempo. This adds to the tension, as the audience doesn’t know what is going to be said. I think if the script flowed, it would not have the same effect.The scene starts with an intimate comment which makes everybody watching the exorcism feel slightly uncomfortable. Hale uses Latin, archaic, words during the exorcism, this adds mystery to the scene. All the adults move in closer and the anticipation rises. Hale tries to catch Abigail off guard by asking her questions:“Is there any figure bids you fly?”He is foreshadowing the future here, stating what is about to happen in the courtroom. The intrigue of Hale is quite deep. He continues to ask questions, this hypens up the tempo, and the fast jumpy dialogue continues. The hyphens and interruptions make the scene more tense. Question. Answer. Question. Answer. Hale doesn’t even leave time for Abigail to make up any excuses.Abigail starts to feel the pressure and as a result of this, starts to use Tituba as a scapegoat. In one instance she says:“She tried…but I refused”Abigail is playing the adults, she is trying to make herself look innocent and seem as though she is in the right, and Tituba is in the wrong. She reverts the questions to put Tituba in the spotlight and make her feel...

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