Explore the dramatic effect of the final scene from ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller. Describe how the scene should be acted and analyse the responses actors might expect from an audience. The Crucible was written in 1953 at the time when Senator Mc Carthy was looking for right wing dissidents who were communists. The Crucible was based in Salem 1692 after certain events that were the result of a group of girls dabbling in the supernatural at the time when people believed in the existence of the Devil that had led to mass hysteria, fear and suspicion were people were hanged and jailed.
Miller chose to write his play based on this subject partly because e had always found this appalling episode in the American history fascinating, but also because he wanted to show what was going on in America 1940’s and 1950’s. This was a time when the relations between the USA and Russia (then a communist state) were very strained and many and many Americans believed that communists who threatened the American way of life surrounded them.
Then after Miller read the book ‘The Devil in Massachusetts’ he started to see similarities between 1950’s America and Salem 1690’s. This inspired Arthur Miller to write ‘The Crucible. ‘ Arthur Miller was trying to draw parallels between the two past events. He called his play ‘The Crucible’ because the people in Salem were being tested in religious ways and they were trying to melt down lies to the truth. This is what happens in a crucible, things are melted down and purified by witches.
On PG 81 Danforth states ‘We burn hot fire here; it melts down all concealment. ‘ This statement was ironic as the people in Salem who were confessing were lying and in no way were they burning down any type of concealment. Towards the end of the play the judges knew that this was not the truth coming through but they had to pretend to themselves and Salem tat it was. They felt that if more people confessed more people would think that the judges were doing their job properly.
The final scene begins on a high point of tension. Elizabeth Proctor is trying to persuade her husband John Proctor who has been accused by Mary Warren of being in league with the Devil. One of the reasons why she has accused John Proctor is because she is trying to get herself off the hook with the court. She firstly accused Abigail Williams of lying to the court but as she sees’ that she has no hope so she switches her story around and accuses Proctor.