Arthur Miller, The Crucible- "Explain how tension is created in Arthur Millers 'The Crucible'"

Essay by laurensims26High School, 10th grade November 2008

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In “The Crucible” there is a lot of tension that builds gradually throughout the play. Tension is a very important factor in “The Crucible” and Arthur Miller uses a lot of different techniques to create and illustrate it. The tension repeatedly rises, and then falls. This could be displayed in a graph.

The graph would start with small peaks, and as the tension escalates the peaks would gradually become higher. Note every peak would be higher than the previous to show a gradual build of tension throughout the whole play.

I am going to focus mainly on the end of act one, and the start of act two. I will explore the two scenes in great detail, and compare how the tension is similar and how it is different.

The first thing that is striking to the audience is the setting of an act or scene.

Straight away the audience is intrigued by this play. The end of act one takes place in Betty Paris’ very small and intimate bedroom. There is only a little bit of light in this scene, which comes from a small window and a single candle that burns on a table. There are 12 people, if not more, cramped in to this claustrophobic space. This makes the scene seem even more tense. Also the secret private conversations intrigue the audience and raise their involvement.

The second thing that makes the audience feel on edge, is when Hale and Paris start interrogating Abigail. They continuously fire non stop questions at her, barely even giving her time to think:“(quickly) What jumped in ?”“(blanched) She called the devil ?”This continual use of interrogatives would be unnerving to the audience as they would feel pressured and on edge. The script is very jumpy and has...