The audience I think would have particularly drawn into the scene because it is very tense and a lot of things happen. When Elizabeth lies for John and when John is arrested I think would have been parts that made the audience particularly angry with Abigail. Miller creates tension in this scene especially in the part where Mary is getting hysterical with the girls repeating every word Mary says and stamping their feet. This makes they play come alive and be more exciting for the audience. But in this act the climax of the tension is John Proctors hysterical speech; A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! and the stage direction of insane laughter makes even more exciting.
The best of behaviour is shown from Act three onwards because the characters consciences catch up with them and they have to take responsibility for their actions. One of the best cases of this is in reverend Hale, when he arrives he seems intent on finding witchcraft; ¦I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!(When talking about the devil. Act 1) but as the play progresses Miller changes the characters views completely.
He goes from the accuser to helping the accused lie and Miller does this so subtly that the audience dont feel uncomfortable about this change. In act two he is beginning to waver by going to see the Proctors even though hes not on official business. In act three he announces I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court! and in act four we hear the defining quote of this character; There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head? referring to the lives of innocent people he has taken and is now feeling the strain on his conscience. I think that the audience would probably feel that Hale is someone who just tries to do his best and would not feel the same animosity towards him as Parris.
Another example of the best of human behaviour is in Rebecca Nurse. She is a small character but helps give the play depth because all of the characters lives are intertwined which makes the audience feel like the characters are more personal. Rebecca is one of the only consistent characters in The Crucible she never changes her mind or lies to save herself even when faced with extremely gruelling circumstances. She never compromises her conscience by signing a false confession neither does she turn in her friends. When asked to sign a confession she replies Why, it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself? I cannot, I cannot.(Act 4)
I think the audience would have liked Rebecca because she is the sort of character who doesnt change so is someone you can get comfortable with. I myself found Rebecca to be the most responsible of all the characters in the play despite having a small part. Eventually Rebecca is hanged which I think the audience would have been shocked and angry because she is a pure soul. Another person in this situation was Giles Corey who like Rebecca chose to be crushed to death rather than get other people in trouble.
The most obvious example of the best behaviour is found in John Proctor in both the third and the fourth Acts. Where Miller makes him the hero by letting him confess to his sins and become a martyr. Miller creates the hero character for Proctor by letting have one final emotion filled speech about being true to your conscience and despite his admittance of an affair with Abigail the audience would like him and feel sympathy for him.
The emotion of this final scene is only really shown when it is performed because of the stage directions Miller gives is what really creates tension. At first after seeing Elizabeth he decides to confess in order to stay with his family but when he is asked to sign the confession he finally snaps and his conscience takes over. His defining speech of the whole play is this final one; Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given my soul; leave me my name!
One of the other reasons he decides to die rather than sacrifice his morality is when he sees his friends go off to be hanged and their looks of surprise at seeing him lying. Another thing he says which also contributes to the decision was this; I have three children how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends? this shows that he was thinking about how his family would feel if they knew he had lied. I personally found this scene the most emotionally draining of the entire play because you really get involved and start caring about the characters and I think that final speech is the best of the entire play.
This essay has discussed many things that featured in The Crucible such as conscience and the way Arthur Miller made his characters either liked or disliked. All of the characters in this play were put under extreme pressure and in these situations the best scenes in the play arise. Overall I think that the best of human behaviour was presented more strongly than the worst because the characters that have the best behaviour are more strongly presented.
But saying that Arthur Miller does successfully portray the worst of behaviour also because none of his characters are two-dimensional they all his separate lives which intertwine and so you feel for all of them even those who responsible for the deaths. In my introduction I aimed to show the parallels between puritan Salem and the anti communist feelings of right wing America. I have done so. The audience at both the time this was written and in the present day would find this play both emotionally challenging and exciting. The reaction to the last scene probably would have been tears, as I myself was close to tears when watching the film version. I also have achieved the link between the interrogation of Arthur Miller over his political beliefs and the witch hunts in Salem 1692, His reaction to the hysteria and how he wrote the play in protest to the somewhat ludicrous questioning of people in Salem.