Juxtaposition Of Calm And Hysteria In A Streetcar Named Desire

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Register to read the introduction… Despite the sexual tension between Proctor and Abigail, the pace decreases, which is indicated by the absence of exclamation marks. Furthermore, the entrance of Rebecca Nurse decreases the pace. Through theses changes in rhythm and pace, Miller emphasises the calming influences of Proctor and Rebecca and thereby evokes sympathy towards them from the audience. The audience thereby perceives these characters as more level headed and sensible amongst the hysteria thereby increasing the respect felt towards these characters and hence further criticizing the other characters. In addition, both Miller and Williams explore the juxtaposition of calm and hysteria through variations of pace and rhythm. Within A Streetcar Named Desire there is a distinct change of pace between the end of scene three and the opening of scene four. During Stanley s abuse of Stella a great degree of action and events occur thus increasing the pace. Furthermore, the sound of a blow and Stella s cry in conjunction with the ubiquitous exclamation marks within Blanche s speech in phrases such as I want my sister s clothes! We ll go to that woman upstairs! the pace is dramatically increased thereby attracting the attention of the audience and heightening their fear for Stella. This is juxtaposed with the opening of scene four during which the pace decreases and Stella is described as having an almost narcotized tranquility . This direct contrast of calm and hysteria serves to emphasise and draw the audience s attention to the difference between the two and instill a sense of hopelessness and uneasiness within the audience. Similarly, within Act III of The Crucible there is a constant juxtaposition of calm and hysteria as Proctor s influence serves to decrease the pace of Abigail s cries and Corey s disbelief. This oscillation between calm and hysteria constantly changes the rhythm of the play thereby maintaining the attention of the audience and ensuring they …show more content…
Leave me my name! This change in rhythm immediately captures the attention of the audience and thus allows Miller to highlight the tragedy of the situation. Moreover, the fact that the play concludes with a break away from the general rhythm indicates Miller s message regarding the lack of hope and the consequences of the Salem witch hunt and hence, the 1950s Communist witch hunt. In contrast, A Streetcar Named Desire has an irregular structure with continuous and unpredictable changes in pace and rhythm. However, the play is seen to be somewhat cyclical in that it concludes and opens with a relatively slow pace and the arrival and departure of Blanche. Williams employs this method in order to direct the audience s attention to the fact that the play itself is cyclical and the same events are likely to reoccur thus reinforcing the tragic element of the play. Moreover, the slow pace is seen to evoke feelings of uneasiness amongst the audience. Ultimately, it is apparent that both Miller and Williams employ variations in pace and rhythm in order to attract or heighten the interest of the audience. Through these variations, both playwrights are able to direct the audience s attention to their key messages and subsequently alter the audience s perception of prominent

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