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© Boardworks Ltd of 23 These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates that a worksheet accompanies this slide. © Boardworks Ltd of 23 The Crucible Act One
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Plot summary exercise
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Re-read the stage directions given before the play starts. Miller takes great care to set the scene before the play opens. He gives detailed information about the stage furniture, and also about the look of the room where the action takes place. He also tells the reader/director about the lighting that should be used. Setting the scene FurnitureLighting bed chest chair small table narrow window with leaded panes morning sunlight burning candle What effect will the lighting and sparse furnishings have on the audience?
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Setting the scene This is a picture taken from a production of The Crucible. Try to identify all the different things that Miller describes. Is there anything missing from the stage? What lighting is being used?
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Setting the scene
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 white bonnet, shawl and apron demure posture, hair tied neatly back The black and white could symbolize the Puritans’ sharply defined moral code, and their rigid definition of good and evil. plain black dress Puritan costume This is a picture of Abigail, taken from a production of the play. Notice how the director has used a very sharply contrasting black and white costume, whereas in reality the clothes would have become quite dirty and worn. Why do you think the director might have done this? What else can you say about her costume?
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 The Puritans wore very plain clothes, a fact that reflects their society very clearly. As we have already seen, they followed a very strict moral code, and this extended to the way that they dressed. What is wrong with the Puritan costume below? Puritan costume Red would not have been worn as it is too bright. Jewellery was not allowed. Make-up was not allowed. She would probably have been wearing a bonnet. Can you see any other accuracies or inaccuracies in the costume? High-heeled shoes would not have been allowed.
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 The characters
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 We meet a great many characters in the first act, some of whom are very important to the story, others less so. It is vital to study the major characters in detail. However, some of the minor people are crucial to the story as well. The characters Tituba Ann Putnam Francis Tituba is the first to be accused and is an easy target because she is a slave of very low status. She is a figure of high status in the town and makes her daughter Ruth ask Tituba to 'conjure up the dead' in the first place. He embodies everything positive about their society; his kindness and bravery stand in stark contrast to the other characters.
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Parris
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Tituba
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Abigail
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Rebecca
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Hale
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Abigail and John Proctor Abigail and Proctor’s conversation is an important part of the play as it gives the audience information on their affair and also on their characters. Read the exchange again that begins 'Gah! I’d almost forgot how strong you are, John Proctor!' and finishes 'John, pity me, pity me!' What do we learn about Abigail and Proctor? Find two quotations that define each of their characters. Give me a word, John. A soft word. (Her concentrated desire destroys his smile.) No, no, Abby. That’s done with.
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 What effect do you think this type of dramatic structure has on the audience? The Crucible is divided into four acts but contains no scene demarcations. There are, however, flash points or ‘peaks’ of dramatic tension throughout the play. These are generally followed by moments of calm, or ‘troughs’. As the play progresses, these become more extreme. One peak of dramatic tension is when Abigail, Tituba and Betty confess. An example of a trough is when Parris and Proctor are bickering about money. High Low Think about what you have read so far. Can you identify any other moments of tension and calm? Tension levels Time Dramatic structure explained
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 There is no suggestion in the play that Miller believes in witchcraft. In fact, he seems to feel that religion is as dangerous and full of superstition as the so-called ‘black arts’. For more background on Arthur Miller’s opinions and thoughts, as well as information on the characters as they were in real life, look at the detailed background that he intersperses with the play during Act One. Witchcraft '…The necessity of the Devil may become evident as a weapon, a weapon designed and used time and time again in every age to whip men into a surrender to a particular church or church-state.' What else does this quotation tell you about Miller’s attitude to religion and the Devil?
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Power
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Quotations
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Directing Abigail Imagine you are the director of The Crucible. The actress playing Abigail is in your charge. What will you need to tell her? What do I need to wear? How should I hold myself and move? What are my key lines and scenes? How should my key lines be delivered? How should I talk to the other characters? What props do I need? What else do I need?
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Abigail
© Boardworks Ltd of 23 Vocabulary Learn the meanings of three more words in Act One.
© Boardworks Ltd of From your reading of Act One, what would seem to be the major themes of the play? 2. Should a director choose to add to the play, recreating the scene where the girls dance in the forest? If yes, how and why should this be done? 3. How could the stage set contribute to the sense of claustrophobia apparent in this first act? 4. What seems to you to be the high point of tension, or climax, of this act? How might you stage this to develop the tension? Act One questions
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© Boardworks Ltd of 12 ‘The Man He Killed’ Pre-1914 Poetry These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the.
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