Tension Build Up In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1853 words - 7 pages

Tension Build up in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

The crucible written by Arthur Miller is a play based on true events
that took place in the small community of Salem, Massachusetts in
1692. The play is based on the witchcraft trials that took place but
at the same time it reflects views and attitudes of society and the
influence religion had at that time on the people. In the Crucible
Arthur Miller gives us an insight on the absurd actions of a few girls
which results in vengeance, corruption, death and the destruction to a
whole community.

The main character in the play is John Proctor a local farmer. Proctor
is seen as a straightforward, hard working, honest man but one who is
constantly plagued with the memory of his sin: committing adultery.
Abigail Williams the servant who he had an affair with develops a
passion for him and tries to seduce him again. This leads to many
problems including a rift between the relationship between John and
his wife Elizabeth. When Abigail and some of her girl-friends are
found dancing in the woods one night and accused of dealing with the
devil, Tituba a black slave who was with the girls is persuaded to
confess to witchcraft. Abigail and the rest of the girls seize this
opportunity to escape punishment and as a result accuse various
members of the community against whom they had a personal grudge, of
being witches. Because of her personal dislike for Elizabeth, Abigail
accuses her of being a witch, whereupon she is placed in prison. John
pleads with the court that his wife is innocent, however a number of
misfortunes follow and John finds himself in the center of a huge
dilemma. John has to decide whether to sign a confession claiming that
he is a witch and escape hanging or tell the truth. He chooses to tell
the truth and stand up for what he knows is right. In doing so he dies
a righteous death as an honorable true man cleansed of his sins.

Act 2 is a very important part in the play. In this scene Miller uses
a lot of repetition, imagery, dramatic language, tension, suspense,
emotive vocabulary and dramatic effects to display the characters
feelings and dilemmas through the use of dialogue, actions and
entrances.

At the beginning of act 2 we can see that the relationship between
John and his wife is uneasy and full of unhappy prospects. The
adultery has caused all sorts of problems and made their relationship
edgy. Arthur Miller builds up the tension between the row Elizabeth
and John are having through the use of dialogue and imagery.Elizabeth:
"Then go and tell her she's a whore." Elizabeth's words are very
straightforward and direct. The use of the word 'whore' brings an
impure image in the mind of the audience and we can clearly see that
Elizabeth is in control of the situation. Proctor: "I will curse her
hotter than the...

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