Act Three of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ is a build up to one of the most dramatic scenes of the play. The play is set in Salem: a historical village known for people accusing others of witches. The play revolves around this point. Consequently, there were many trials to try and attempt to prove that the people were actually witches, with death being the most common punishment if found guilty. The play was written in 1953, a time when the Americans thought that the Russian communists were spying on them; this led to what became known as McCarthyism, Miller’s inspiration for this play.
McCarthyism was an act to deport all communists back to Russia. Miller could have written ‘The Crucible’ to make an allegory and portray his views on this and using the witches’ representing the communists, could have wanted his American audience to know that they are not that different. Arthur Miller also wrote The Crucible to explain to the US people about the tactics ‘if you’re not with us your against us’ of McCarthy, who forced a hunt against Americans who were communists.
Americans were afraid of communists so he wished to express his views because he was also accused of being a communist. In Act Three of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ there are three main moments of tension that builds towards a dramatic ending to the act. One of these points is when Mary Warren cannot faint which is incredibly suspicious within the court. Furthermore, she runs from the court which gives the audience a number of questions to ask such as ‘What has she got to hide?
’ The next tensest moment is where Abigail Williams and the girls see the yellow bird and start copying her. As a result of this, everyone thinks that the devil has something to do with this so they are all scared and they need a scapegoat which is Mary. The next dramatic part of this act is probably where John Proctor cracks and in his anger says ‘God is dead! ’ (Act Three, page 96), this is tense because John is usually quite religious so this becomes a surprise to the audience. All these moments build up to the climatic ending of the court session.
They all leave the audience questions which will be answered further on in the play, wanting them to see more, and because of the character’s actions, they leave the audience stunned. The first dramatic moment that created tension in Act Three is when Mary cannot faint when Parris asks her to and says ‘I-cannot faint now sir’ (Act Three, page 86). Because of this, the court thinks that they have won the case so the audience think that it is all over for Mary Warren and the girls, especially when Miller put in the stage directions: ‘searching for the passion to faint’ (Act Three, page 86) and, ‘faintly’ (Act Three, page 85).
As a result of this, it shows that Mary is worried and she would not know what to do, furthermore, in the play her expression would be scared, therefore reinforcing the fact that she has lost the battle in the court. Also, because Mary says ‘sir’ (Act Three, page 86) it shows he defence in the court- even though her previous actions have been powerful in terms of influencing the people of Salem. As for the lighting in the play for this particular scene, I would have light coming through a window shining onto Mary Warren and Parris as they are the two most important people in the scene.