â€˜Youâ€™re the Devilâ€™s man! â€˜ When Mary finally buckles under the weight of Abigailâ€™s power over her and her intelligent reaction to the situation- the accusation against Mary of witching her, she blames Proctor of witchcraft, thus condemning the whole of Salem to madness, and taking away the lives of Proctor and many other innocents. This event marks the end of any possibility of sanity in Salem, and is ruinous for the once peaceful town. The other accusation in this act is the blame placed on Abigail by Proctor that Abigail is a whore.
Even though it would seem the most far-fetched and outrageous claim made in this act, it is the only truthful one. The courtâ€™s â€˜justiceâ€™ fails to grasp this concept though, so the lies win the struggle once again. Act 3 holds the best chance Salem has had of being released from the hysteria and madness that has accumulated and multiplied, feeding upon the accusations and lies that have been propagated, but this glimmer of hope is extinguished, and the truth is once again suppressed and shunned.
The truth of the girlsâ€™ fraud is suppressed. From the very beginning, when Proctor first speaks out against the court, Danforthâ€™s questioning techniques attempt to intimidate Proctor, thus trying to suppress the truth, because his dialogue is imposing, inflexible and intimidating, thus preventing the one person who holds the key to the release of Salem, the one person who knows and can tell the truth, from doing so. â€˜If I must answer that, I will leave and not come back again.
â€˜ The other character key to suppressing the truth is Abigail, because she is harnessing the power of the witch trials to eliminate Elizabeth, to clear the path to her lust for Proctor, she also has an intimidating dialogue, because hers is indignant, and at times, even threatening, cleverly making out that she is innocent. She acts the part of a girl who is shocked and indignant at the charge against her, making the charge seem entirely false, when in reality it is completely accurate.
She pretends to be indignant at the questions, to avoid answering the questions that Danforth poses to her, and even threatens to leave the court, showing her growing power over the adults in Salem. She also keeps looking at Mary, and uses the apparitions of the yellow bird and the icy wind, to force Mary back to her side, once again suppressing the truth from one character that could be the end of the lies. She chatters her teeth and shakes, to make the apparitions seem even more realistic.
There are also events in Act 3 that also show the suppression of the truth, such as Danforth and Hathorne questioning Proctor to try to suppress the truth. In order to try to dispose of the threat that Proctor begins to pose in Act 3, Danforth and Hathorne exercise their power to invade his privacy. Even though Proctor has not yet been formally accused of witchcraft, Danforth and Hathorne, like Hale earlier, question him about his Christian morals as though he were already on trial.
They hope to find in his character even the slightest deviation from Christian doctrine because they would then be able to cast him as an enemy of religion. Once thus labelled, Proctor would have virtually no chance of anyone in God-fearing Salem intervening on his behalf, therefore suppressing the truth. The court created for the witch trials was commonly believed by the villagers to be created by God. Therefore the upholding of this court becomes essential to the maintenance of social order in Salem.
There is a big decision to be made by the judges in this act- to maintain social order and suppress individualsâ€™ freedom, or to submit to the truth, thus condemning Salem to chaos and their reputation to breakdown. Some dramatic devices in this act are used to emphasise the issue of the decision between maintenance of social order or the truth. When Judge Danforth enters, the rest of the characters including Cheever and Parris trail him.
This positioning of characters emphasises the authority that Danforth possesses. On his appearance, silence falls, again showing his power and authority as high judge of the court. He has the power to suppress the truth or to give justice, to take away the lives of innocents, or to heal Salem of the wounds it has suffered. â€˜Let you consider it then. â€˜ When Hale says this sentence, the room falls silent as Proctor hands Danforth the warrant. This is a dramatic climax, when Danforth is considering Proctorâ€™s evidence.
This is a fulcrum, where the verdict could go either way-where social order could be maintained, or Proctorâ€™s individual freedom could be granted. The silence is broken only by Maryâ€™s sob, showing the importance of this moment. â€˜I have evidence for the court!â€¦ we have proof for your eyesâ€™ The desperate attempt by Giles, Proctor and Francis to save their respective wives exposes the extent to which the trials have become about specific individuals and institutions struggling to maintain power and authority-social order versus individual freedom.
Danforth and Hathorne do not want to admit publicly that they were deceived by a group of girls, while Parris does not want the trials to end as a fraud because the scandal of having a lying daughter and niece would end his career in Salem. Because of this, Danforth react to Proctorâ€™s claims by accusing him of trying to undermine the court, which, in theocratic Salem, is tantamount to undermining God himself. The issue that youâ€™re oneâ€™s name is important to one, and that some are willing to die for it.
There are many contextual links and quotes, from plays, books and even the bible, stating that name is important to a man. â€˜Good name in man and women, dear my lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls; who steals my purse steals trash; â€™tis his, and has been slave to thousands; but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeedâ€™ This quote form the play â€˜Othelloâ€™ by Shakespeare shows that a name is important to a man, more important than his money or possessions. â€˜I quit this court!
â€˜ The stage direction of Hale slamming the door after quitting the court from which he was part of, ruins his good name and relinquishes the power he held, because he realises the injustice and lies that are holding the court up. â€˜Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name shall liveth for evermore. â€˜ This quote from the bible, of St Matthew, Chapter 44, verse 9 says that if someone is dead, but has not left a name behind them, it means that they have not sinned and their name shall live on forever. Giles acted upon the same principle in this act-â€˜I cannot give you his name.
â€˜ Giles refuses to name someone else just so he can keep his own life, and dies for the cause. Proctor in this act also does not defile his name, because he does not confess to witchcraft when prompted, so is thrown in jail with a death sentence. He instead speaks the truth-that Salem has â€˜pulled down heaven and raised up a whore. â€˜ In conclusion, in Act 3 of the crucible, Miller uses dramatic devices and events to highlight the key issues of the play, and, indeed, of the time, highlighting the problems and issues with Puritanism and the way of life in those days, and highlights the paranoia and hysteria that flourished in Salem at the time.
He realises the irony of the trials, that they were supposed to be Godâ€™s will, but people were in fact using religion to their own ends. By Luke Worley (9T) 2915 words. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.
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