Excitement, nervousness, stress, anxiety and suspense are all forms of dramatic tension Miller creates throughout the Crucible. Miller builds vivid personalities for the main characters in the play, the characters are contrasting tense relationships between each other to build a powerful dramatic effect. As the curtain rises, the audience are curious as to why a man, so clearly distresses is sat over a girl, Betty, who lies motionless and ‘inert’ on the bed. The audience grow more curious as he calls for god to help him, and the audience are intrigued, wondering what is happening. As we grow deeper into the first few minutes, Tituba is introduce. Tituba’s skin colour is an immediate indication of her status in Salem theocracy. In the opening act, Miller presents the ‘negro slave’ as the only character to arouse the wrath of Parris’ frustration; his use of the sharp imperative ‘out of my sight’ allows him to precisely reveal that even the good Christian minister sees her no more than an animal; however, in this way Miller successfully obtains a great deal of sympathy from the shocked audience, who had previously been feeling sorry for the ‘sobbing’ Christian minister over his ‘inert’ daughter. These methods that Miller employs only increase the dramatic effect when the audience gradually begin to notice the characters true sides.
Miller employs stage directions to explicitly illustrate Tituba’s low status by explaining the reasons for her extreme differential behaviour because ‘trouble in this house eventually lands on her back’. This initial interaction successfully yet beautifully shapes the audience perception of Parris causing the dramatic effects to unveil, allowing Miller to reflect a harsh and unjust side of his character. Moreover, it dramatically foreshadows the idea that someone with a low status will be blames for anything that may go wrong, which acts as a basis for the witchcraft hysteria.
From here onwards we know that the theme of the play has been quickly introduced because of Betty’s illness to un-natural causes, which in 1672, was a scary, fearful incidence. There is a dramatic feeling of fear and hysteria when Hale cross-examines Tituba near the end of act 1. Tituba is initially terrified but then she creates a strange, hysterical state in which she rocks back and forth and pants. All sort of irrational and imaginary confessions pour out of her. Abigail realises that she may be the next person to be accuses by Tituba so she joins in with the hysteria, accused by Tituba naming more Salem women as witches. To add to the dramatically charred chaos, Betty awakens and hysterically confessed to more ‘I saw George Jacobs with the devil!’ at this point the stage is overcome with madness giving hints as to what will happen next. It also encourages the audience to join in with the chaos.
The character of John Proctor is created as the voice of reason, a man who despises the ‘fire and brimstone’ content of Parris’ sermons. In the...