Building Tension in Act 2 of Miller's The Crucible Essays

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The meaning of crucible is to ‘purify something by heat or pressure’. This is a reference to hell and the heat that it contains, as well as the pressure there is about not going there or being sent there for your sins. There are many characters within the play which could be ‘purified’, one of them being John Proctor. This is the play’s main character and plays the part of the tragic hero within it. He is fundamentally a good man, but he has committed lechery so has this on his conscience for much of his life. Towards the idea of his purification, Proctor redeems himself a the end of the play as he refuse the opportunity for a pubic confession and holds his good name until his death, his purification is in realising his flaws but …show more content…
Tituba is harassed and beaten until names are given and the devil fever quickly spreads until, soon after, thirty-nine are arrested for suspicion of witchcraft, wizardry and/or compiling with the devil. Many did not confess and nineteen were put to their deaths. Meanwhile, Abigail Williams, a girl saturated with jealousy, is attempting to sentence the wife of her lover, John Proctor, and keep him for herself. However, as the story unravels, this plan breaks down and Proctor admits to lechery, yet does not confess to compiling with the devil so is sentenced to his death. His wife, Elizabeth Proctor, is also sentenced to death, however she is found pregnant and will not hang until the innocent child is born. Legend says that Abigail was left as a prostitute in Boston (where she planned to run away to with Proctor), but this idea may just have been made through poetic license. The story ends with Johns’ Proctors death and how jealousy can turn into flippancy and how nothing will stop you get what you want when you are succumbed to the ‘devil’. The main themes of the play are: conscience, how characters keep a clean name and free their conscience for death. Evil is also a theme, how some may use this to their advantages and others use it as a tool to get what they want. There is also fear, of the citizens of Salem and how they fear the witchcraft and the devil, but also how they fear of getting prosecuted and would rather see others

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