How Does Miller Use The Ending Of Each Act To Make The Audience Feel The Madness In Salem?

1523 words - 7 pages

How does Miller use the ending of each act to make the audience feel the madness in Salem?Miller is able to portray the madness of Salem in a variety of ways, throughout the whole of the play however the ending of each act allows the audience to fully feel the hysteria. By incorporating changes of key themes and ideas as well as using links throughout the text and a variety of dramatic techniques towards the end of each act, Miller is able to leave the audience with a sense of this madness. The ways in which he reflects the madness change from scene to scene however each technique is just as important as others.Occurring frequently throughout the play, but particularly predominant at the end ...view middle of the document...

Another way Miller is able to portray the madness towards the end of Act I is by using short sentences to increase tension and reflect the condition in Salem. During the confession of Abigail short, quick sentences are used such as "I danced for the Devil!" or "I saw him", both of which show a peak in hysteria. These are followed by Betty and Abigail accusing people of allegiance with the Devil and all these claims follow the same, generic format of "I saw ____ with the Devil!" This makes the girls seem as though they are possessed and are under the influence of the Devil - once again giving the audience a feel of the madness in Salem by building up a mad atmosphere.Towards the end of Act II Miller uses the actions of John Proctor to make the audience feel the madness in Salem, with his violent acts indicating how emotions have spiralled out of control in the village. After the arrest of his wife, Elizabeth, Proctor becomes aggravated and begins to take a violent approach towards the matter. As soon as he is left alone with Mary Warren, she is described as speaking in a "fearful squeak of a voice" which begins to suggest Proctor's threatening presence. This is followed by Proctor "moving menacingly toward her" which gives the audience an instant insight on Proctor's anger. Even though Mary Warren proclaims that Abigail will "kill [her] for sayin' that" (referring to telling the court who stuck the needle into the poppet), Proctor still "continues toward her" which also indicates the madness of Proctor and the community around him. Mary then begins to "back from him" and speaks "in terror", however Proctor "strides and catches her" which shows a progression from mere verbal abuse to physical violence and an upsurge of anger. This anger proliferates into Proctor "grasping her from the throat as though he would strangle her" before "throwing her to the floor where she sobs". Miller is able to use this forcefulness to give the audience a taste of how things have progressed from illogical thoughts to outright madness in not just the Proctor household but the whole of Salem.Along with the use of Proctor's violence to reflect the madness in Salem, Miller uses the intense dialogue between Proctor and Mary Warren to show how insanity has grown in the Salem community. Miller utilises Mary Warren's repeated refrain of "I cannot, I cannot" to reflect how crazy she has become. Despite Abigail's wrongdoings Mary states that she "cannot charge murder on Abigail" which shows how much Abigail has manipulated her. She then states that "they'll turn on [her]" which demonstrates the pressure placed upon Mary to lie to the court. Mary's mind has been twisted into believing that staying loyal to the girls is more important than saving the lives of innocent people accused of witchcraft and this gives the audience a glimpse of the absurd ideas implanted into the brains of the Salem community. The curtain falls on Mary repeatedly sobbing "I cannot, I cannot" and this...

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