Discuss two highly dramatic incidents in the play, saying how Miller creates tension and emotion. Arthur Miller wrote the play, The Crucible, in 1952 about actual historical events that took place in the small eastern town of Salem the, “Salem witch trials. ” Miller uses many dramatic devices to dramatise the story, which took place over 300 years ago. In Act One as the play begins, the setting of the stage in the overture creates tension and suspicion because of the dubious position in which it starts, “Reverend Paris is discovered kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer.
” This is very ambiguous as we do not know as of yet why he is praying, creating suspicion and tension in the audience as to what has happened to make him pray. It is evidently morning as the window is letting the morning sun into the wooden room. However “a candle still burns, near to the bed”, this bares the question why is the candle still burning when it is day? The candle probably symbolises that Paris has been up all night. This creates a dramatic sense that what has happened has been important because he has given up his sleep.
When Paris speaks for the first time after the entrance of Tituba, he speaks in extremely small sentences often consisting of one or more words adding a great deal of pace to the speech creating the image that he is worried, “Betty. Child. Dear child” he also speaks loudly as depicted by the use of an exclamation mark, “god help me! ” His actions are sharp and fast like his speech, “scrambling to his feet in fury. (Stage direction)” also snapping at Tituba “get out of here,” to emphasise his frustration, worry and the tension now clearly in the room.
Considering that the room is made of wood, Paris’s brisk movements would not only show his temperament but would make a creaking sound adding to the unease. This is well dramatically structured by starting the play with tension; Miller goes straight into the play as to not bore the audience and gives them food for thought immediately by showing the future prospects of the play. When we finally find out why Paris is so uneasy, he is engaged in a frantic argument with his niece and he slowly gives away the story of why they are in the position that faces them, “And what shall I say to them?
That I found my daughter and my niece dancing like heathen in the forest? ” Not only does it ask more questions such as who was there and why were they dancing, again adding to suspicion and ultimately drama, but is sarcastic, as he would never at this point tell the people that his niece was caught dancing and up to no good as it would damage his, name. Also in this act Miller creates, though relatively small in comparison to future events confusion and hysteria as he introduces many of the main characters in a relatively small space of time and they interact with one and other.
Also the interaction takes place in the small bedroom and as many of the characters are in the room at the same time, the room becomes claustrophobic it adds to drama and creates pressure for Paris and his, name. A rumour about Betty Paris begins to travel round Salem as apparently she “flew” and it does not take long for the town, to gain knowledge of this and many of the town residents have to see what the commotion is about.
This shows how the town is relatively close and involved with one another and how if any bad rumours get let out the word spreads, informing the audience the predicament Paris is in adds to the growing pressure and the drama. Mrs Putnam the town gossip comes with her husband to find out if the rumours are true. They join with Abigail, Paris’s niece to put pressure on Paris about what is going on. This is shown by his swing of opinion to save himself, “So you did conjure sprits last night” he realises that what he saw would not just go away and that he personally would do worse by not divulging the information.
He has also called in a specialist in witches: “they say you have sent for reverend hale of Beverly” creating the sense that this is a serious matter. Abigail and Proctor’s conversation mid-way through act one, shows Miller creating a dramatic passage with a vast change in their emotions which goes from romance and love to regret and anger. Abigail speaks to proctor using language to denote the animal attraction and lust, which has been there and is still there, “I know you sweated like a stallion whenever I came near!
” This is personification forming the animal attraction with the use of the word “stallion” and that he has “known her. ” She taunts him and tries to carry on their relationship but he does not want to carry on the relationship, “I will cut my hand before I’ll reach for you again. ” This angers Abigail; he shows that he has regretted whatever they have done and gives evidence of him having some morale fibre though he may have committed a sin. Abigail claims; “And you loved me then and you do now!
Indicating that she thinks there is still something between them, when he sweated when she came by, this may be because he couldn’t have her thus Divulging the information that they had an affair? This leaves the audience to ponder about Goody Proctor whom till this point has only had minor references. This is dramatically structured to point out that in the heat of the moment between the commotion and hysteria Proctor and Abigail have a conversation about an affair, implying that this had something to do with the trouble now present in Salem.
Towards the end of the act an intense type of trial ensues as the structure somewhat resembles that of the later court and trails. Abigail lays the blame on Tituba, “I never called him! Tituba, Tituba. ” Due to the biases of Salem they take her word. Tituba receives the condemnation of the phoney court headed by Paris and Hale. Hale asks Tituba what she did and lies because she is “terrified” of what they will do to her; she is being pressured into admitting to what she didn’t do.
This is the start of the others doing the same and lying to save them self’s miller does this to show how the people who have no morale and are weak are easily pressured into admitting and passing the blame. To begin with she tells the truth, “No sir I truck with no devil”, but under the firm boot of Hale she crumbles and admits. To get Tituba to admit Hale and Paris do not take her word until it reached a conclusion which suited them, “who came to you with the devil? Two? Three? Four? How many? “