The atmosphere and point created would be possibly be mostly fear of speaking out against Abigail from Mary, also a little of being found out from Abigail because, as we know, she has been lying only to save herself; it would be very tense to be in the courtroom because thing were getting taken too far and lots of things could happen. As always Abigail manages to worm herself out of trouble just like some of the politicians etc who blamed other people to get themselves out of trouble when there was McCarthyism going on.
Reverend Hale has an important role in the play; he is the well-respected exorcist who is there to solve the problems in the town, with the two girls Betty and Ruth, but instead of solving problems he more or less creates them. As the play goes along his role changes as he decides he doesn’t like how the court is dealing with the accusations, it is important that he starts to speak up about things in the play as you begin to see what other characters are really like, for example the change in Danforth- he still carries on but this time he looks as though he has something to prove perhaps to himself or the people of Salem.
It is significant when Hale finally denounces the court as he is the ‘prime’ exorcist, and if he starts to denounce something, that’s when its gone bad. ‘I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court! ‘ [He slams the door to the outside behind him] The stage directions makes the audience feel as if they were there, it gives them visual imagery, which adds to the effect. John Proctor, the main protagonist, is a man who starts off moral, yet pragmatic and flexible. John is religious, but not to the point of accepting what he believes to be an inadequate minister (an example being that he won’t have his third son baptised).
He thinks of Parris as an ‘unholy’ man who should not be a minister in his town. John doesn’t go to church when his wife is sick or his fields need tending, he loves and honours his sickly wife – but not to the point of ignoring Abigail’s sexuality (these individualistic traits are what land him up in trouble). Proctor is a man of experience more than a man of principle. He is well respected in the town but as we see in the final act he changes, we encounter Proctor as a different character altogether, he has become a Christ-like martyr. He is tempted to betray his side and his principles just as Christ was tempted in the desert.
Proctor wavers, he doesn’t have a problem with lying to the unjust, but at the last minute he tears up his confession to save his integrity, and like Christ, he goes to his death, choosing it rather than renouncing his position. His death brings redemption from his own guilt, but he also dies to demonstrate his conviction like the many before him. Leaving behind the world of experience, the senses of pragmatism, he has become a man of principle, these changes mostly happened after Proctor was accused/confessed, this shows that the events of Salem can change the most normal of men.
Elizabeth Proctor obviously is the wife of John Proctor. She is quite a religious woman and lives according to her beliefs, she does her best to forgive John but she suspects his motives when he will not deplore Abigail as a liar, she may know that John had an affair but is willing to keep the marriage going, maybe she wants Abigail to know that John is hers or that she cares for John in some deeper meaning than we are shown, when they talk they tend to avoid the issue and just talk about boring things; there is hardly any love in this marriage which might be one of the reasons John started to have an affair.
Abigail accuses Elizabeth for apparently doing some sort of voodoo with a poppet, which was made by Mary Warren. Abigail stumbled into the Parris’s with a needle in her stomach, Ezekiel Cheever uncovered the poppet with the needle in it in Elizabeth’s house, it’s like they are all pawns in Abigail’s little game.
Abigail denied all knowledge that Mary Warren sat next to her while she made it, so leaving them to believe that Elizabeth had Mary covering up for her, and therefore arresting her. Abigail Williams, the cause of all this chaos. She leads the girls into court and openly lies and accuses people, for example- Sarah Good and Martha Corey, just to save her own skin but she has one weakness, John Proctor, she ‘thinks’ she is in love with him; he on the other hand doesn’t feel the same.
He had an affair with her, but you have to feel sorry for her- she thought she was in love with some one she believed was a great man, he taught he a lot about the world, he practically made her go against the puritanical lifestyle she was living but then you could say he basically used her but he did teach her and could have a interesting conversation that, as we know, he couldn’t have with his wife.
He made her believe he was the only thing then he turns around and plainly rejects her, how does that make someone feel? Rejected, used are only a few words, I think this is what spurs Abigail in this mass revenge, not on him (she still loves him) but on people he cares about like neighbours/friends and his wife.
Abigail possible thinks if she does enough he will come back to her but as we see he definitely doesn’t, she strikes me as a girl wrapped up in childish fantasies where everything works out happy ever after, I don’t even think she knows what she is doing is wrong, she has learned to believe in living her life how she wants no matter who gets in her way, she is just a misguided, spoilt girl with a grudge- miller highlights this point, which in return raises her own tension making her uneasy in her accusations (she accuses reverend Hales’ wife of ‘being with the devil’, the accusations are ignored as it is believed the devil can’t touch a ministers wife, Abigail has gone a little too far).
Deputy-Governor Danforth seems to have a prior agenda for being at the trials, it seems to me that he has something to prove by it, he appears to have a sort of production line going on- the quicker it goes the better for him. Danforth though first appears to have a somewhat arrogant attitude, he thinks he is superior and tends to cut people off mid sentence, but he is prepared to listen to new evidence, for example Mary Warren’s retraction. He maybe comes across as a ‘little’ power mad, in most of the trials it seems like the people walk in and it has already decided what their fate is to be, which by my recommendations isn’t very fair, he basically forces people to say what he wants to hear. ‘Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more. I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. ‘
Danforth’s power perhaps has been allowed to go ‘mad’ because of the mass accusations and the more people wanting him to do his job, he might think he has a thing to prove to the people that he can do his job so that means no one must get away with it, he gives the impression that if you are accused a witch that means that you are a witch, which is not fair on anybody. The plays ending it the most dramatic part of the play, it’s when everything is concluded/comes together and people’s fates are finally revealed. The ending is very dramatic as you see how the characters have changed, for example the once proud man that was Reverend Hale is reduced to a man telling people to lie and go against their beliefs in order to save themselves.
The play ends with John Proctor deciding whether to basically live or die, by living he would have to live with his sins and a blackened name, he would lose his respect in the town, so he decides to be a martyr and die, the book tells of him signing the confession paper then ripping it up, he maybe feels that his conscience is clean with god or something similar. In the book it ends with Elizabeth allowing her husband to die while Hale pleads she talks to him, but she decides to let him make his own decision. ‘He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him. ‘ The screenplay- also as I have said, is written by Arthur Miller, shows Proctor stepping up the scaffold, to his death, it shows him saying the lords prayer as the noose is hung round his neck and effectively he is pushed to his death, before he finishes the prayer which is very reminiscent to Danforth- he wouldn’t let people finish their sentence.
In conclusion the dramatic effect used in acts three and four of the crucible keep the play going, it evokes lots of feelings in both the readers and actual characters in the play, it makes you have different emotions and you learn to love and hate each character in different respects. The play itself is very dramatic as it is based upon something also very dramatic, McCarthyism (hunt for communists), I think every individual character had a different meaning-I think they were based on the people involved in this mass communist hunt. It scares you into thinking what could happen if things were allowed to get so out of hand in today’s world like they did in 1962, it could all happen again if were not careful. The play uses lots of different types of people from puritans (though as it is ironic, I couldn’t give you an example) to Heathens.
The play shows change in characters for instance John Proctor goes mad, Reverend Hale becomes a broken man and it all gets too much for Abigail that she takes off with Parris’s savings- he denied seeing the girls naked in the forest to Hale when he really did see it. The plays has an effect on the audience in that it makes them consider all the innocent people that died, the ironic thing being that they were allowed back into the church years after they had died believing in it. Overall I think the pay is a good way of presenting the facts and fiction of McCarthyism In that it shows you how things get out of hand when people start thinking their better than anyone else, I personally think it shows you how unfair, unethical and inhumane a justice system can be.