In the opening of the play, how does Miller seek to create an atmosphere of hysteria and tension? Do you find the opening effective?
Premiering in 1953, Arthur Miller’s the crucible was a scathing attack on the Communist scare of the era in the guise of a dramatization of the witch hunts that took place in Salem in the 1960’s. Throughout the beginning the play follows how fear of death, The Devil and the unknown causes people to submit to madness and how the sense of guilt could cause them to lose all forms of their common sense and allow for insanity to overcome a whole community. During the play there are many areas in which Arthur Miller creates an atmosphere of tension and hysteria through many different techniques including
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The theme of hysteria is presented during the play holding a large role throughout. Hysteria can play a critical part in the destroying a healthy community. It enables people to believe and accuse their neighbours, whom normally they would get on with, of witch-craft, devil-worship, murder, infant killing and so on. Some people may accuse others for revenge. In 'The Crucible', the inhabitants accept hysteria and also go onto become active in a hysterical climate. This is not just of genuine piety, but also because it gives them the opportunity to repress sentiments and also to act on long-held grudges. This is seen when the girls begin to accuse the people involve with witchcraft. Causing tension to build example when Abigail states ‘I saw Goody Sibber with the Devil! (it is raising with a great glee)’ this causes the other girls to begin accusing citizens of Salem for being associated with the devil. This reiterates the theme of hysteria as a panic breaks out throughout and the viewers are able to see frenzy that is created in act one.
Overall the opening is effective to create an atmosphere of hysteria and tension. Miller is able to allow the audience to witness the anxiety and panic that is present in act one through his use of