Audience and Critics Have Said the Crucible Is Deeply Moving and Exciting. Discuss How Millers Stagecraft in Particular at the Begining and Ends of the Acts Contributes to the Overall Drama of the Texts

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Mary Warren Pages: 3 (1222 words) Published: July 18, 2008
Drama; Secrets; Scandal. Three simple words, all of which describe ‘the Crucible’ perfectly. Arthur Miller’s clever use of universal themes and hidden techniques throughout the tragedy are what makes ‘the Crucible’ the well known play that it is today. With its gripping storyline of love, jealousy and betrayal the play is deeply moving with a twist of excitement. Focused on the series of mysterious events surrounding 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Arthur Miller produced the play in 1953 at just 34 years of age. Miller demonstrated the devastating effects of McCarthyism as he had experienced himself in the 1950s. He expresses his opinions on it clearly so the audience can comprehend.

From the rise of the curtain, the build up of tension begins. Miller’s smart use of detail throughout the tragedy help build the suspense as the audience are left thinking independently and forced to figure out why Miller has used such detail at the beginning. The atmosphere is simple and airy however the placement of the furnishings and objects in the room attempt to puzzle the audience. The candle, placed near the bed, is described as ‘still’ burning almost as though it has been all night and Miller insinuates that Reverend Paris has been keeping a vigil. Also Miller uses metaphors such as ‘the sunlight streams’ to create visual effects. The ‘clean spareness’ of the room relates to the simple puritan lifestyle which the people of Salem lead. There is an extensive mood change during the act, it goes from respectful (when Tituba refers to Hale as sir) - to dehumanising (Hale comparing Tituba to ‘Gods instrument’) and finally it becomes hysterical (the curtain falls as things heat up between Betty and Abigail) which leaves the audience on the edge of their seats, unable to bear the suspense.

At the beginning of Act 2, there is a complete contrast in light compared to the previous act. The atmosphere is calm, dark and stifling unlike Act 1 which was light and airy. When John...
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