We are currently studying ‘The Crucible’ wrote by Arthur Miller. This is based in the 17th Century. In 1697. It is based around true events. On the Salem Witch Hunts this was known as McCarthyism (Witch Hunts) The play is about accusation, lying. And affair. And a number of key characters. Ranging from the usually strong, proud character Proctor. To the deceiving young Abigail. And Revarand Paris a distressed priest in worry over his sick daughter. I will cover a short extract and explain how I believe John Proctor should be played during a chosen scene. At pages 27-30.
First I would give tall, Strong gestures. He should be portrayed as a strong character. With definite grasp on most situations. I base this on the fact that in the text he is referred to as a kind man. And on pg27 it refers to proctor as a kind of fraud. But then immediately states that none of this had come to the surface. He is also very well respected within the village because of his ‘ sharp and biting way with hypocrites’ it says on pg27. Because of this I would expect others to feel slightly honored while around him. And be eager to make good impressions with his reputation. Although his typical posture would be tall and proud. In pages 27-30.Order now
It is somewhat different. Due to his relationship with Abigail. I would show this fact by making him look more troubled and threatened. I believe he feels great remorse for the fact he had an affair with Abigail. But he still feels a passion towards her. As he try’s to hide this by saying ‘ I May think of you softly from time to time, but ill cut off my hand before I reach for you again’. Because he feels very strongly to his wife Elizabeth. He is desperately trying to appear strong to deter Abigail. This is why I believe his voice should be clear and emotionless. But with the occasional moment of softness in his tone. Like when he feels sympathy for her as it is written in the stage directions on pg29.
Because even though he still is angry for what he did. He still feels for Abigail and has sympathy. As I briefly mentioned before he will have a tense relationship with Abigail, which will lead to him acting differently from the other scenes. I notice in other scenes he is very much in control of the situation. But here he is having trouble being totally honest. And doesn’t give definite answers. For example when Abigail questions whether he has looked up at her window.
He replies with ‘ I may have looked up’. Showing he is insecure and unsure what to say. As I said previously he is normally in control of the situation, but here he loses his temper when Abigail mentions Elizabeth his wife. Which emphasizes the point that he feels very strongly towards Elizabeth. I would accept his body language to change here to a much more aggressive posture. And his Voice to be much firmer. In a mark of anger.
Proctors movements would normally be big steps, slowly and surely. To project his proud, tall, strong character. But in this scene I would expect a much more agitated movement. Possibly pacing back and forth when he is unsure what to say, and being much more hurried when he becomes angry. His voice should build up throughout and become more passionately furied as Abigail continues to question him. And his facial expressions should display a hint of disgust, as it says he is angry with himself. So he is obviously frustrated. Finally at the later end of the scene he should go back into the Proctor everyone knows when Reverend Paris comes into the room. And try regaining control over the situation.