How Does Arthur Miller Create Tension?

Within this play, one of Miller’s many works, Mr. Proctor is one of the main characters. Miller uses extremely effective techniques to really bring the character to life. For example, I think Proctor is such a popular character because he embodies the traits of your average story tragic hero, yet is still shown to have flaws within his personality, which makes him quite easy to relate to as a person. His severe lust for Abigail shows he is a human too, with weaknesses, desires and guilt.

This really brings the character to life in my mind. John is a stern, authoritarian man, who lives with his wife on a farm just outside of town. He hates himself for his affair with Abi, because, as Miller describes in the notes upon his introduction to the character, not only does he go against the moral way of doing things in the time, but because he is ‘sinning against his own beliefs. ‘ John feels terrible, because he hates hypocrisy, yet cannot resist Abi.

Abigail is the niece to Hale, another key role in the story. She seems to have a slightly split personality. There is one side of her that is so nai?? ve; yet suddenly, when things fail to go her way, the sweet, nai?? ve child turns into a vindictive, tempestuous liar. Again, Miller’s portrayal of such a complex personality really brings her to life, and makes you understand the situation more, because you can understand the way they are feeling easier.

The more vindictive side of Abi is revealed after Proctor’s wife Elizabeth fires her, when news of the affair reaches her. She makes the black African slave Tituba help when she tries to perform voodoo spells. When the pair are discovered, she blames Tituba, a clear indication that she is a rather sinister, manipulative person. There is a crucial scene in Act one, where Abigail tries to seduce Proctor once more. To me, this is one of the most important scenes in the entire play, because it says so much about these two main characters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *