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    The play script and the film The Crucible Essay

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    As lots of money, (much more than in a play) goes into making a film, you can afford more cast. In the play there are only about four or five girls, but in the film there are around fifteen. This makes the effect of hysteria and silence much greater and has a bigger impact on the audience and adds more mood and feeling to the film. Famous actors and stars, starring in the film will attract a wider audience, where as with a play you couldn’t really have many famous actors, as it would be expensive to hire them and the theatre companies didn’t really have the money.

    Another example of where the play is different to the film is near the end, where Elizabeth is trying to persuade Proctor to sign the confession. At first he seems reluctant to do it as it would be lying to God and he is an honest man. He asks Elizabeth what he should do and she answers, ”Do as you will. ” (This may be a shock to the audience, as they would probably expect her to get down on to her knees and beg dramatically) The setting of this scene was totally different. In the play, John was in a dark, cold prison cell when Elizabeth came to visit him.

    There was still the tense beginning of their meeting, but the open air and the two figures (silhouettes) being drawn closer together gave a sense of freedom. Elizabeth and John also got much closer than in the play and actually hugged and kissed, before Proctor screamed out ”I want my life!!! ” and everything fell silent. This does not occur in the play and all he says to prove his decision is, ”It is evil. Good, then – it is evil, and I do it! ” which is definitely not as dramatic as in the film.

    I think the film reveals more of character’s personalities than the play, as the audience can see extra shoots of the characters, their face expressions and reactions to things and also get a wider background view of the character. In the film, Tituba is given much more personality and character. In the play, she is little more than a black slave, but in the film, we see her as a person and that she is actually the leader of the group of girls conjuring witchcraft. I also think that Hale has been transformed into a nicer character.

    Although, this may be because we can see him (visual impact) and hear his tone of voice and style he uses when he speaks. For example: when he says ”Goody Proctor, your husband is marked to hang this morning. ” : We do not know if he uses a serious tone, an ordinary tone or a sympathetic tone. The film and the play can give us different impressions of the characters. When reading the play for the first time, I got the impression that Tituba was a good, nice, innocent slave, who was used as a scapegoat by Abigail just because she was black.

    When I watched the video, though, we saw her, not as a slave but just like the other girls, singing, dancing and conjuring magic. I didn’t feel as sorry for her in the film, and the fact the she seemed like the leader of the girls made it even harder to sympathise, making this a genuine difference between the play and the film. In a film tension can be built up, to get the audience thinking, wondering, and urging that character to say the ‘right thing’. When the court asked Elizabeth if her husband was a lecturer, the camera got closer and closer to Elizabeth, as she thought and chose her answer carefully.

    In a play, the effect of building up tension building up isn’t as good because you can’t do close up shots and the character is always standing the same distance away from the audience, although they still get just as anxious to see the character give the ‘right’ answer and urge them on. I think that it was effective that the ending, where the victims such as Proctor and Martha Corey got hung. Although it was sad, it showed us what really happened to them, as you can’t show that in a book.

    I especially thought the bit where they were chanting the Lord’s Prayer together, when the ropes dropped was effective because the victims were in that position because they didn’t want to lie to God, and by chanting the Lords Prayer and everyone cheering made them look like criminals and unloyal to God, when they were actually being the opposite. Another difference between the endings of the play and the film was that in the film, Abigail came to see John in his cell and asked him to come to Barbados with him, which does not happen in the play.

    The film and the play obviously share many similarities as the film was based on Miller’s original play script. The film shows no dramatic changes, although the layout of some scenes has changed and some scenes, such as the beginning, where the girls are calling the devil and conjuring witchcraft, and the ending, where the victims who are ‘supposed’ to have called the devil are hung have changed. Generally, though, the film and the play are very similar, if not the same, and I do think that most of the changes made, have made it better, i. e.

    ; more dramatic and romantic. I think it is effective that the film and the play are not exactly the same because if they were, the audience would just be expecting everything and the effect frightening, humour and exciting wouldn’t be as great on them. However, I also think it is effective that the differences between the play script and the film aren’t too big and overwhelming. I do think that the film shows a good resemblance of the play, though, and has been carefully constructed so that it shows the Crucible as close to reality as possible.

    I think that the reason that the Crucible doesn’t begin and end like an ordinary play is because of the fact that is was based on a real life story- the Salem Witch Trials- that began and ended like this, but I also think that Miller was trying to show that something terrible- where innocent people were killed in horrific ways because they wouldn’t lie to God- can occur from nothing but a few young girls thinking they were conjuring witchcraft and calling the devil.

    Miller may have used the McCarthy Era in his play, and put himself in the character of Proctor to show people what it was like for the sufferers, and also (as said in the introduction) to put an individual mark on his book, other than his name.

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