Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller / Pages: 5 (1753 words) / Published: Aug 5th, 2014

Despite unnecessary changes to plot and some flawed character portrayals, Nicholas Hytner’s 1996 film adaptation of Arthur Miller’s 1953 play, The Crucible, is overall a viable adaptation of Miller’s original work. Many of the directorial changes made by Hytner in creating this screenplay are successful in further emphasising Miller’s central ideas. The characterisation of Abigail Williams is captured appropriately in the film displaying her overall manipulative nature by drawing extensively on the original text, thus exploring Miller’s idea of the use of hysteria and rumour in order to seek personal vengeance. Hytner’s depiction of Salem is well represented and the use of space, both outdoor and indoor, helps to visually depict Miller’s idea of the blur between the public and private world. Furthermore, Miller’s use of symbolism within The Crucible is integral in reinforcing Salem’s governing theocracy and this is well demonstrated in the film adaptation. It is inevitable that there are some flawed elements of Hytner’s version of The Crucible, yet ultimately the film is successful in retaining and conveying Miller’s key concepts, in a way that is easy for the audience to understand.
In the film adaptation of, The Crucible, the characterisation of Abigail Williams is effective in conveying her manipulative and revengeful nature, as Miller intended in the original play. By adapting the original text to suit a different genre the use of cinematic techniques such as camera angles and Winona Ryder’s use of expression are effective in displaying the key elements of Abigail’s personality. In the play, the initial stage direction introducing Abigail describe her as, “seventeen...a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, with an endless capacity for dissembling.” This refers directly to Abigail’s manipulative and dishonest nature and the idea that it is “endless” suggests that she is unwavering in her determination. This is accurately conveyed in the film when Abigail

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