The Crucible Coursework Essay

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The Crucible Coursework Essay

The Crucible was written in 1952 by the playwright Arthur Miller. It is an allegory of the McCarthy ‘witch-hunts’ which occurred during the
1950’s. It was effectively the arrest and questioning of those suspected of communist views or that sympathised with communists. The
USA was very suspicious of communists due to the Cold War between itself and the USSR. Joe McCarthy, leader of the governmental organisation, the Anti-Democracy Policy, headed the hunts. Arthur
Miller was himself arrested by McCarthy.

Miller was very irritated by this and decided that he wanted to protest by writing a satirical play. To have his play shown on
Broadway he had to write an allegory based on his treatment and the
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In this Act though, Proctor is flirting with Abigail again, but then refuses her his love.

This is the start of Abigail’s tirade of naming the women of the town that she says are witches. When a woman is named, she can save herself from hanging by naming another woman as a witch, therefore creating a vicious circle of lies, revenge and selfishness.

In Act II Elizabeth is arrested after being named by Abigail as a witch. Proctor’s profound love for his wife is evident here.

In Act III Proctor tries to ensure Elizabeth’s release by telling the court of his affair with Abigail, therefore proving that she is lying to take revenge on his wife. Unfortunately, Elizabeth, who is usually truthful, lies to the court believing she is protecting John. John is later on accused of being “the Devil’s man” by his new housemaid, Mary
Warren, a friend of Abigail’s, that is blatantly bullied into lying, during Abigail’s pretence of Mary’s spirit attacking her as a bird, which no-one can see except the girls. This leads to Proctor’s arrest.

The Crucible was made into a film in 1996 starring Daniel Day Lewis as
John Proctor.

The director’s interpretation of Act IIII is evident through his use of music, camera angles, choice of location, lighting and dramatic devices. In the film, at the end of Act III, Proctor declares that “God is dead” after chasing Mary

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