How does Miller use the ending of each act to make the audience feel the madness in Salem?

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor Pages: 4 (1440 words) Published: November 2, 2014
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 of Act I is the use of stage directions to increase tension and hysteria. After Tituba confesses to allegiance with the Devil, Abigail realises that this has saved her and so she decides to repeat Tituba's actions in order to save herself. She understands that in order to prevent being accused she must become the accuser. Miller emphasises this as immediately after Hale states "God will bless you for your help", Abigail rises and is quoted as "staring as though inspired." She goes on to become "enraptured as though in a pearly light" which shows the progression from a quiet confession to a loud, more hysteric declaration. The passage which follows shows a huge rise in tension and irrational incidents as suddenly Betty rises from the bed after a long period of time in a collapsed state, also chanting confessions. Betty and Abigail exclaim the names of people who they claimed to have seen with the Devil, and Miller once again uses stage directions to show the craziness by describing them as "calling out hysterically" and "rising to a great glee." The curtain falls on the girls crying out the names of people seen with the Devil, with a progressive increase in intensity and so the audience is left with a clear feel of the hysteria.

Another way Miller is able to portray...
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