I have chosen three events (End of Act 1, 3 and 4) from the Crucible. I have chosen them because they create anxiety and show the relationships between Arthur Miller’s experiences of McCarthyism and how he creates dramatis irony. The crucible is about the witchcraft trials that took place 200 years ago. The consequence of the witchcraft hunt was that people were hanged and many people confessed to being witches because they didn’t want to be hung.
The significance of this to Arthur miller was that during those days there had been hysteria about McCarthyism. Since 1938, an organisation called the house of Un-American activities committee had been in existence in America. They had the power to investigate any movement or person who apparently threatened the safety of America. This committee under the chairmanship of Senator McCarthy became paranoid and excited in its witch hunt of communist sympathisers amongst the American people during a time when America feared communists. people were charge by McCarthy as communist sympathisers .they were pressured to give other people’s names who were then sought out in the witch hunt. Among the various actors, liberal writers and directors, Arthur Miller was accused as well. His experience made him remember the witch trials that happened two centuries before and made him write the Crucible.
The basic element of the story was that the good person was Arthur Miller since he refused to admit that he was a communist and likewise in the Crucible John Proctor. The bad person was Senator McCarthy and in the Crucible it was a mixture of Abigail, Parris, Putnam and Danforth who people in society felt was superior to them. The lie was that people were accused of being a communist in the late 1940s and in the Crucible for being a witch. The impact was that either they confessed or were blacklisted (can’t work anymore) and similarly in the Crucible, the people were either confessed, tortured to death or were hanged. Arthur Miller wanted to show the audience that the witchcraft trials in the 1690s and McCarthyism during the early 1950s were exactly the same-a big lie which took lives of innocent people.
From the first act I would be discussing bout the hysteria scene .in this scene Abigail accuses Tituba for witchcraft and claims that she send her spirits out and made Abigail drink blood. Since Tituba is a salve she doesn’t have much value in the society during those days. “She makes me drink blood”. If I was the stage director I would want her to say this line in a fiercful, aggressive tone to prove to others on stage that she is really telling the truth. Her aggressive, enraged eyes and tense nose would prove that she is serious. She would be moving backwards and pointing at Tituba to show the others that she is scared that Tituba might do something to her. By doing this she creates an impact upon the others that she is innocent.however, dramatic irony is used in this scene. The audience knows that Abigail drank blood out of her own free will to create a charm to kill goody proctor. There is also a link to McCarthyism .Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft and likewise Arthur Miller was accused of being a communist by McCarthy.
“He says Mr.Parris must be killed!” When Tituba says these lines she would be on her feet glaring at parries and she would have a cold, bitter, furious tone to show her hatred in a closed manner. She does this to prove to the others that she had been working with the devil. Her eyes would be narrowed and she would have a regretful expression on the outside to convince them that the devil had really asked her to do this and that she didn’t want to harm her master. When she confessed and convinced them she knew that they believed her. This was her chance to escape. However she had another benefit at her side. She had control over her wicked cold hearted master who was alarmed hearing that the devil as after his life. Seeing here wicked master frightened made her happy inside.
Seeing Tituba get her way out of trouble, Abigail does the same as well. “I want to open myself.” I want Abigail to tell this line in a decisive, strong, confirmed tone to prove that she really means what she is telling. Before she tells these lines he would be at the other side of the stage in darkness. But when she says these lines she would be running forward to the centre of the stage and will be on her knees in front of a shocked and confused Hale, Parris, Putnam and a crying Tituba.her expression would be an inspired, enraptured one. I want Abigail to do all these because since she saw Tituba confess and get her way out of trouble, she does the same as well. Inspired by Tituba, Abigail sensed her way out. She knew that once she confessed and convinced them and named a few people they would believe her.
In the third act, the court takes over the witchcraft trails and proctor unveils his fatal flow.” It is a whore.”I want Proctor to say this line in an angry frustrated tone to show that he can’t take the madness in court anymore. He would have wild, angry eyes and there would be pain and guilt on his face to create an impact upon the audience that he was heart broken to tell the truth to the court and to have his name in shame. While the guards are holding back proctor from Abigail he would be glaring at her and his fists would be in the air ready to hit him. He does this to show to the audience that while his wife is innocent, he couldn’t do anything to prove it to the court. He realized that unless he told the truth to the court Abigail would be accusing more innocent people to witchcraft and he wouldn’t be able to help his wife either. Proctor put emphasis on the word “whore” to show that he seriously meant what he was saying. I want to show the audience that when saying this line proctor means that the court has believed and hung many people on the lies of a whore.
When Elizabeth proctor is asked why she fired Abigail, her response was “She-dissatisfies me (Pause) and my husband.” If I was the director I would want Elizabeth to say this line quietly, calmly and with some fear and hesitance in her voice to show that she is under pressure. Elizabeth would have a depressed and confused look on her face and would be looking here and there to try to catch a glimpse of her husband. There is a pause in between because she was thinking of a word to describe Abigail’s actions. the reason for her to be like this is because t create an impact upon the audience that she is a bit confused about what to say and afraid to tell the truth but she didn’t want to lie either. Arthur miller uses dramatic irony in this scene because the audience knows that proctor confessed to lechery which Elizabeth doesn’t.
While all this goes on, reverend hale realizes what’s going on and tries to stop the court from hanging any more people.”Excellency, this child has gone wild” I want hale to say this line in a desperate, begging tone because he wants the court to listen to him and not the girls. He would be in agony and his face would have a terrified, shocked look, his eyes and nose would be tensed to show that he didn’t want the court to do the same mistake again. He would be looking at danforth and his hands will be moving between proctor and danforth to show that he wants Danforth to listen to proctor than to the girls because it is quite normal would not unveil her husband’s faults in front of a court and disgrace his name. At the beginning Hale didn’t believe Proctor but then he realized that Abigail was building a private vengeance upon the society for her selfishness.
In the final act proctor debates whether to confess and live with his family or to die like a true Christian. During the later part of the witchcraft hunt, the society lost their patience and started to riot. “Praise God!” I want parries to say this line in a happy, satisfies ton to show that he is happy that proctor confessed. He would be having a amazed, glad look on his face and his eyes would sparkle with happiness. He would be clasping his hands together and would be looking up to show that he praising God. this is to show that he is pleased that proctor confessed because he knew that if proctor gets hanged, the people in Salem might not keep quiet and that there might be a riot, he knew that his life would be endangered if proctor didn’t confess, I want to show the audience that Parris is a selfish, wicked guy who would do anything to keep his name from being blackened.
“No, no. I have signed it. You have seen me. It is done. You have no need for this.” When Proctor says these lines, he would have an agitated, tense voice. He would have a frusturated, unhappy face and he would be staring at danforth and shaking his head to show that he is fed up f all these nonsense. He was in a mental dilemma of whether to confess or not. He couldn’t bare to tell a lie but he did it for the sake of his family. When danforth actually demands the paper back, Proctor could not take it anymore. He was determined not to blacken his name.
“Because it is my name. Because I cannot have another one in my life!” He would shout this line in a fury, his face would show frustration and his hands would be at his side in fists. I want him to do it like this because he confessed only to live with his family and to get on with his life. He had done a moral dilemma. It creates an impact upon the audience that by confessing he had given his soul because he was a moral guy who believed that witchcraft was just sheer nonsense. He didn’t want to let his friends down but he did it.
Proctor and Arthur Miller were true moral person because in the end they never confessed. They didn’t want to commit another sin. Arthur Miller and Proctors situations were the same. Both didn’t want to be disrespected but to be admired and they didn’t want to go along with lies. In the crucible Miller creates a dramatic suspense in the end. While the audience thinks that proctor is actually going to confess he doesn’t at the end. Miller’s suspense creates excitement for the audience.