In the play “The Crucible,” Millers picture, of the Salem witch hunts of
1692 may fitly be examined as a work of dramatic art, as a product of the
author, and as a social document. A major character that enabled the dramatic
art to come into play is John Proctor himself who was a leading character and
Arthur Miller built up to the big scenes seen throughout the play where
the characters are made to be seen as more appealing. The characterization
shown with John Proctor was not only detailed but an essential part of the play.
Without Proctor having a part through the play, it would have been dull and
boring. John Proctor was hardheaded, strong and skeptical. The Tenacity of his
beloved wife Elizabeth is, “nevertheless made to weaken, to confess to a lie in
order to give a more theatrical effect to his final resolve to proclaim, and to die
for, the truth.” On the other hand, “Proctor will lie privately, but he refuses to
sign so that his lie can be made public.” John felt if others knew of his lies he
would have a bad name. He always wanted to have a good name.

When in court John was questioned as to whether he was having
or not having an affair with Abigail. The questions were directed toward John’s
wife Elizabeth. Proctor had made certain to the judge that Elizabeth could not
and certainly would not lie. Sure enough, when Elizabeth was questioned she
ended up lying to try to save her husbands reputation from being ruined,
Meanwhile she had no idea what John had previously stated and how this would
bring on the deterioration of his character. This is where irony took its part,
with Elizabeth testifying that John certainly is not a lecher but, “John previously
admitted Abigail was his eager whore.” This twist gave a dramatic effect toward
The power shown in the big scene with the maid who had withdrawn from
the accusation made toward her for witchcraft certainly made the tension grow
and as Shipley said, “The climatic growth of tension here is excellently
managed.” I agree with what Shipley says because with this occurring as the play
is taking place, it enables the reader to be in suspense right up until the end.
“To some people this play may not be a creation of dramatic art, rather a
concoction of the author’s contriving mind.” I disagree with this because I feel
as though this is a dramatic form of art because many elements were shown
which make something dramatic such as the accusations and the trial in itself.
Before the judges, Abigail and her friends claim that they can feel the presence
of the devil like a rushing, mighty wind, which is magnificently dramatic and
It is safe to say the Arthur Miller’s play was based on troublous times, and
because certain elements of the society look at the theater as “a weapon in the
class war,” the play can bee seen from many different views. A person could
read this play and get a lot out of it without knowing much about it when they
began. The first act was confusing and yet the last act opening was intended to
provide an emotional rest, there was no sense really being made. However in
the end looking back on the play as a whole, something does come out of it and
to each person it is something different although definitely worthwhile.

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