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... n trance we are told that Abigail has stood as though on tiptoe, absorbing his presence, wide-eyed. Something to back up the possibility that there have been a romance here is how his actions change when they are alone. When Mary Warren is in the room he is strong and influential. Ill show a great doin on your arse one of these days. This is in contrast to when Warren leaves the stage and it is only occupied by Abigail and John.
It is now when he shows a change in his character. Abigail seems to be excited by his arrival, and this is very much found to be true as we are told later in dialogue and action that these to have known each other sexually. It is a very flirtatious scene as Abigail tries to entice John, who barely restrains himself. It is infact his better judgement and his conscience stop him from going to far. No, no, Abby. Thats done with.
Abigail wants Proctor to herself and now that he has rejected her she becomes increasingly angry. Abigail [now beginning to anger she cant believe it]. It is now that we see Abigail's more spiteful vindictive and indeed childish side when she doesnt get what she wants. This aside, she continues to show her feelings to Proctor; You clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near.
Finally, Abigail's wish is granted and Proctor shows a weakness to her. I may have looked up. It is here that he refers t the times e has looked up at Abigail's window, but, nevertheless, he still doesnt give in. Proctor [gently pressing her from him, with great sympathy but firmly]: Child.
It is this one word which sends Abigail to another level of anger, and we see how furious she can be. She now makes very personal remarks towards his sickly wife, which makes Proctor react in an instant. Proctor [angered at himself as well]: Youll speak nothin of Elizabeth! This fight increases the pace of the Act intensify highly, and now Proctor begins to threaten Abigail.
Do you look for a whipping? and there is a sudden in the mood as A psalm is heard being sung below. This contrast between the bickering in the foreground and the soothing psalm in the background is cleverly done by Miller as it reminds the audience of the witch mania ensuing below. Betty marks the end of this scene as she awakens with the sound of the psalm. John and Abigail rush over to Betty's side as she screams. This is a dramatic ending to the scene because it implies that the rumours of witchcraft may be true.
There is no reason for her screaming except for hearing the psalm, Gods words and this could mean that she is infact under the devils control. The Putnam's, in this scene, the seventh of the Act, insist that Betty's screaming is a notorious sign of witchcraft. Rebecca Nurse is called upon by Reverend Parris and in the prose commentary given to readers of the pay only by Miller, she is noted as a peacekeeper and she is the voice of wisdom in this Act. And we are told in the stage directions that Gentleness exudes from her. This shows that she has a profound effect on stage and I believe that it is this effect that helps her to calm Betty. Rebecca simply stands over the child, ho gradually quiets.
She doesnt essentially do anything, but it is what she doesnt do is the key. She doesnt cause argument like Thomas Putnam or quicken the pace of the play. Rebecca Nurse slows the pace of the play and with it she is able to calm down Betty, who was in a fit of screams before her arrival. In the following moments Goody Nurse is the voice of common sense and offers reasonable explanations to the bombardment of questions from numerous villagers. A childs sprit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back. These poetic words where given to Rebecca specifically, as she is a wise woman who doesnt believe that Salem is witched, unlike some.
The ensuing arguments are not surmising as the Putnam's and Proctor have strongly opposing views, and neither is afraid to air these opinions. Putnam: ... I do not think I saw you a Sabbath meeting since snow flew. In this line, Putnam is not only attacking Proctor but he his hitting him with the main part of life for the villagers of Salem, their religion.
Also, as the local Reverend, Samuel Parris, is also present on stage, it creates added tension between Proctor and Parris. This bickering and quarrelling brings with it a new wav of tension. The scene ends with a man very much like Proctor, Giles Corey about to leave of stage with his friend John. Reverend Beverly Hale marks a new phase in the play at the start of the eighth scene. It is a moment for characters to rest and slows the pace of the play to a quiet state, although, there are many new tensions on stage which the audience are now aware. In the prose commentary Miller writes that Hale is acknowledged as being an expert in the field of witchcraft and he contests cleverly and passionately about the strength and the power of the Devil.
The Devil may become evident as a weapon. It also shows that Hale is a very clever man as it describes him as an Eager-eyed intellectual. He has been called by Parris to find witches, on being called here to ascertain witchcraft, so it appears Parris fears the worst. In the prose commentary, Miller also brings our attention to how the devil is used.
The Devil is described as a weapon, designed and used time and time again in every age to whip men into a surrender to a particular church. This line shows that the Devil is a tool for Churches to arouse fear and hopelessness, where only the church itself will be free of evil. This is identical to what McCarthy does in the 1950 s to raise fears about communists, saying that he would find a way to eradicate them. These parallels are available to those who chose to read the play in the prose commentary and not for those who watch The Crucible in theatres.
When Hale comes onto the stage, he is said to be loaded down with half a dozen heavy books. This shows he takes his role very seriously and it also shows the extreme measure that Parris will go to find witchcraft in Salem, or is calling Hale a way to give the villagers of Salem what they want, thus protecting Parris reputation, something he takes very seriously as found out earlier in the play. The scene starts at a steady pace as he introduces himself to all those on stage, and he forges alliances with some on stage, Goody Nurse for example. You cannot be Rebecca Nurse? This question shows to Rebecca that her good soul precedes itself. The Putnam's continue to push the reality of witchcraft, even to Hale, thats a sure sign of witchcraft afloat, but as we know Hale is a level headed man who replies to all on stage that they cannot look to superstition in this.
As Hale goes to his books we are told in the stage directions that All wait, avidly. This shows that he has control of the stage and Miller has allowed Hale to control the pace of the scene. The scene ends on a quiet note as Giles and Hale talk to each other on a more peculiar matter, of Giles wife Martha, who was readin a book. This may be normal be he adds I tried and tried and could not say my prayers. And then she closes her book and walks out of the house, and suddenly mark this I could pray again.
This may seem odd, but in the prose commentary it shows how Giles Corey has only just learnt his prayers and he is very forgetful in his early eighties. He only recently learned any prayers and it didnt take much to make him stumble over them. Perhaps it was his imagination which took over when he saw his wife reading a book and it was this that made him forget his prayers for a moments. At the beginning of the penultimate ninth scene, we are met with a quick build up of tension as Hale Questions Betty. Can you here me? He tells all those around him to stay alert as things may become more frightful.
This raises fears amongst the group and results in more suspense about what will transpire on stage in the next few moments. All others on stage are described as anxious. The others watch breathlessly which shows they are as eager to find out what will happen as the watching audience. Parris is still, however, preoccupied by his reputation and being linked to witchcraft, but Hale puts these fears to rest as he expresses It is the best the Devil wants, and who is better than a minister? This question shows Parris that he should be proud that the Devil dare strike his house, as it shows how good he is. As his reputation is maintained, or even raised in this conversation, his delight is easily measurable.
He has a change in attitude and now with resolution, he wills his niece on. Betty! Answer Mr Hale! As Hale continues his questioning, he grows more suspicious of Abigail. He turns to Abigail, his eyes narrowing. The plays pace continues to increase as open accusations are now being made towards Abigail.
As his niece is under scrutiny, Parris begins to get nervous ad this can be seen clearly in his dialogue as he begins to stutter. I ought to say that I I saw a kettle. This continues as Hale continues to question, trying to find out what happen on that night in the woods, Abigail begins to realise that she may get blamed for being a witch. We learned earlier in the play that she is a trouble maker and she is relatively intelligent so she does, in her mind the smart thing and passes the blame. I never called him!
Tituba, Tituba... , and then she makes herself an innocent in the incident. She tried, but I refused. She says that she would go along with it, thus clearing her name, to a point. Tituba, is how terrified by the threats of Putnam and is clearly willing to say whatever she thinks the men want to hear.
Thomas Putnam shouts the worst punishment and this sends Tituba To her knees. Putnam: This woman must be hanged! This is the punishment for Tituba if she is found guilty of witchcraft, but if she confesses, she will be free. She takes the simple way out and gives in. I tell him I dont desire to work for him, sir. With this statement, Hale and the other men push her to tell the names of those whom she saw with the Devil.
Since it is her only way to protect herself, she knows she must name names, but she resists for a while. Giving excuses to Hale and the other men she hopes that she doesnt have to make others go through what she has just endured. It was black dark, and I. This shows that she feels guilty for being a coward and lying. It is clear that the system is wrong, and surely and intellectual man like Hale should consider this. She pours out lines of Devil obsessed nonsense that the men eagerly wait for, and she also uses this as a way of airing her true feelings to the audience.
Some of her views may also be considered racist to a point as she lies, and he says, Look! I have white people belong to me. He in this quote refers to the Devil talking to Tituba. This shows the audience that she feels singled out as the only other person in the ethnic minority. Finally she cracks under the pressure of the men ad gives them want hey most want to hear, names of those who she saw with the Devil. And I look and there was Goody Good.
The scene ends on a less tense instant as Hale thanks Tituba for clearly lying, but no-one dare say a thing, as they will most likely be called a witch themselves. The final, tenth scene, is very short, and it is a very fast scene. It begins with Abigail seeing what Tituba has just done, and feels that see can show her feelings towards people through the Devil. Abigail rises, starting as though inspired, and cries out. She is inspired by Tituba's manipulation of how their religious system worked, and now feels that she can blame a numerous people whom she doesnt like.
She cries out I want to open myself! She wants to become open to God once more and now he can say she saw any number of people with the Devil. It is like a personal revenge for her and the other girls. Ten or so other villagers are said to be with the Devil ad Hale shouts Glory to God!
It is broken, they are free! He feels that he is fulfilling his duty in that he has found witches in Salem and can now begin helping them. The Act ends with the ecstatic condemning cries of the frenzied girls, upon which the curtain falls. There is a very dramatic ending to the Act 1 with a crescendo of accusations which contrasts heavily to its beginning, which was very quiet as Parris knelt sobbing over Betty.
It is clear that Miller controls the rise and fall of pace and conflict in this Act. From the curtain rise, the entrance of the Putnam's, Proctor and numerous others show how passions can run high in a small village which thinks that it is witched. Conflicts between Putnam and Proctor are clear and it creates tension and suspense for the viewing audience. Also trouble makers such as Abigail Williams and Goody Putnam increase the pace at which the play takes place. Not only Miller controls the pace of the play, but he makes it appear that it is the characters and their choices and actions which control its pace.
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