Arthur Miller's The Crucible The scene of Hale's first meeting with the Proctors is a scene of high drama. All great drama has a context and here the background is the religious history of the New World at the end of the 17th century. In 1692, the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, was sent into absolute turmoil. What we now know as the United States of America, but what was then just English Newfoundland had only recently been settled by the Europeans and the characters in the play The Crucible are among the first few non-native generations to occupy the land. When the settlers arrived there were no geographical boundaries or set plots of land
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A court of law was set up to deal with this (and other) allegations, but it worsened matters. The court's only "witnesses" were friends of Betty Paris who, in an attempt to rid themselves of the blame, (as they had been caught dancing in the woods, an act condemned by the church), began to name members of the community at random accusing them of having been seen with the devil.
Miller uses a number of literary techniques to make the scene a more powerful one. The purpose of this essay is to identify these techniques and to highlight how each of them contributes to the overall drama of the scene.
Act two begins with John Proctor - a farmer living in Salem - having just returned from his work out in the forest. Elizabeth, John's wife, starts talking to him and they seem to be in a state of normality for a while, until the first slight hint of tension arises when she goes to wash up his plate, glass and fork. At this point the stage directions state that "a sense of their separation arises." The scene continues with arguments, sparked off by Elizabeth mentioning how Mary Warren, their maidservant, went to the courts that day. John becomes angry and, when Mary Warren returns, he finds out his wife's name had been