A play that was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s Essay
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” The Crucible” is a play that was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s. The play was originally produced in 1953 at a time where McCarthyism was at its peak. This was a time of American paranoia when Americans believed that the Russians were planning start a war with them. The Americans accused members of the society of been a communist spy for the most trivial reasons. It was a situation of hysteria. This was very similar to the situation in Salem two hundred years earlier.
The people of Salem would believe anyone to be a witch even if they had very little or no evidence.
Salem was governed by theocracy this meant the church ran the local government, therefore they had orthodox religious beliefs. Arthur Miller compares these two situations to show that we all should learn from past mistakes. The past events in Salem contributed to the situation in 1950s America, this shows Causation. The title reflects the play because a crucible is a container used to expose its contents to very high temperatures, this can cause impurities to rise to the surface, it’s metaphoric meaning is a place of severe test or trial.
In the play eighteenth century Salem becomes a Crucible, Judge Danforth creates a situation in which he is trying to force the supposed witches to the surface and purify Salem. Miller uses dramatic techniques to maintain the audiences’ interest the message that Miller conveys is to learn from your mistakes and not to jump to conclusions. Abigail changes the way she acts when interrogated by Hale. Abigail has previously been perceived as a dynamic and powerful individual however when Rev. Hale questions her she comes across as very desperate and paranoid.
This is shown when Abigail says, “I am a good girl, a proper girl”. She attempts to make herself out to be a model Puritan, Parris and Hale are manipulated but the audience knows that Abigail is no telling the truth, this is dramatic irony. The playwright Arthur Miller presents Abigail to be extremely deceptive and two-faced, as he wants the audience to dislike her. This is shown when Abigail notices an opportunity to blame Tituba for the unchristian and unlawful activities that she has committed.
For instance Abigail blames Tituba for making her laugh in the middle of prayer and for waking her in the night and Abi finds herself naked. Miller does this to give an insight of the sin Tituba is not given the chance to object or justify Abigail’s accusations. An example of this is “Mister Reverend, I never. ” And Hale interrupts her by saying “Tituba I want you to wake this child. ” Reverend Hale is not interested in Tituba’s defence but her satanic influence. This shows that Hale does not pity Tituba he hears that which he wishes to hear.
This reveals that the citizens of Salem will believe what they are told, they follow the majority. When Tituba enters the room Abigail immediately puts the blame on her. This shows that Abigail was under a lot of pressure, so much so that she transferred the blame onto the first person that entered the room. Tituba was not expecting Abigail to blame her. She shows this when the stage directions are “shocked and angry” Tituba previously considered Abi to be a loyal and honest person. Tituba has misinterpreted Abigail’s character.
Miller increases the tension as the audience sympathises with the slave since her English is bad and she is been tricked into admitting something she has not done. When Abigail mentions the word “blood”, Parris Mrs Putnam and Tituba all repeat it. This reveals that the incident that took place in the forest was not as innocent as was first thought. It shows that in fact it was a lot more sinister. The repetition of this key work creates tension since repetition creates a sense of hysteria. Miller reveals this information to increase the audience’s interest. The characters that repeat the word “blood” are insecure and gullible.