Choose an extract from The Crucible that you find particularly meaningful to the development of the play. Comment on the techniques used by the writer to convey a message, a specifictone and dramatic impact.
In the following extract from Act 3, from [Abigail (crying to Heaven): Oh, Heavenly father...] to [Danforth: (...) Mr Parris, go into the court and bring Goodwife Proctorout.], Mary Warren has confessed that all the accusations for witchcraft were a fraud and Abigail and the girls are pretending that Mary Warren is making a spell on them, at this point John Proctor istired of Abigail’s lies and confesses his sin, the fact that he had an affair with Abigail and she denies all of this. Then Danforth tells Paris to go and fetch Elizabeth to ask her if John Proctor’sconfession was true.
In this extract, Arthur Miller is able to convey a message, a specific tone and dramatic impact through the use of stage directions, a careful choice of words and punctuation.
Inthe first place, through stage directions the author establishes an atmosphere to the scene and gives feeling to what the characters are saying. For example, when John Proctor confessed he was alecher “[trembling, his life collapsing about him] ... [his voice about to break, and his shame great]” John Proctor is greatly ashamed of himself; he cannot live with the fact that he cheated on his wifeand that that is costing Elizabeth’s life, because Abigail accused her of witchcraft to take her place as Proctor’s wife. This message is portrayed by the stage directions, for example when Proctorwas “trembling” or “his voice about to break” when he declared himself guilty of adultery. Also the fact that there is dramatic impact in this scene because the reader would have never imagined thatProctor was about to declare himself a lecher.
Stage directions also state actions, for example in this case: [Without warning or hesitation, PROCTOR leaps at ABIGAIL and, grabbing her by the hair,...