Presentation on theme: "By Arthur Miller. A small group of teen girls in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts caught in an innocent conjuring of love potions to catch young men are forced."— Presentation transcript:
A small group of teen girls in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts caught in an innocent conjuring of love potions to catch young men are forced to tell lies that Satan had invaded them and forced them to participate in the rites and are then forced to name those involved. Thrown into the mix are greedy preachers and other major landowners trying to steal others' land and one young woman infatuated with a married man and determined to get rid of his innocent wife.
The events in the play are factual It is also a parable of the Congressional Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joe McCarthy upon Arthur Miller in 1950's America Salem Witch TrialsMcCarthyismPresent Day Who was on trial?WitchesCommunists Who was accusing them? PuritansHouse Un-American Activities Committee What of?Consorting with the devil Sympathising with communist beliefs When?16921938 - 1956 Where?Salem, Massachusetts, USA Throughout the USA What was the penalty?HangingImprisonment or loss of job How many were found guilty? 2010,000 – 12,000
Orphaned niece of Reverend Parris. She was once the lover of John Proctor but was turned out when his wife discovered the affair. She is extremely jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and uses her power in the town to rid herself of Elizabeth as well as any others who have insulted her in the past. She cannot let go of her obsession with Proctor. She is the leader of the girls.
Abigail encourages other girls to participate in witchcraft. What are the girls feelings and emotions during this? Show this in a series of still images. Examples you could have used Planning to meet at midnight Persuading Tituba to join them Dancing in the woods Abigail drinks the charm The discovery
In Act One (pages 17 – 19) John and Abigail meet alone in Salem. What might they be thinking but not saying. Show this using thoughts aloud. Consider both the physical and vocal characterisation.
Act one From: Near the start of the play. Parris is beside Betty’s bed. ‘He is bending to kneel again when his niece, Abigail Williams, seventeen, enters - a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, with an endless capacity for dissembling.’ To: ‘ABIGAIL: She hates me, uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, snivelling woman, and I will not work for such a woman Discuss, in detail, how you would play either Parris or Abigail in the selected scene. You will need to refer to voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, as well as to how your chosen character responds to others on stage.
Husband to Elizabeth. He had an affair with Abigail when she was employed in his household. He knows that the girls are pretending but cannot tell what he knows without revealing having been alone with Abigail. When Abigail uses her influence to convict his wife, he tries to tell the truth and finds himself condemned. He refuses to admit to witchcraft or to consider Abigail as anything more than a lying whore. He is hanged.
Abigail and John’s relationship is difficult due to the affair they had previously. How can you show this subtext through the characters’ movements, gestures, facial expressions and voice when they meet? In mixed pairs prepare a performance of pages 17 – 19.
Act Three From: ‘HALE (Indicating Abigail and the girls): You cannot believe them!’ To: The end of Act Three. Discuss, in detail, how you would play either Proctor or Mary Warren in the selected scene. You will need to refer to voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, as well as to how your chosen character responds to others on stage.
Wife of John Proctor. She discovered an affair going on between her husband and Abigail Williams and turned Abigail out of her house. She is Abigail's main target but is saved from hanging because of her pregnancy. She feels responsible for driving her husband to infidelity. When he decides that he will not lie to save himself, she supports his decision though it will leave her alone. She feels that if he must redeem himself in this way, she cannot take it from him.
At the start of Act Two John and Elizabeth discuss the day and what they are doing at the weekend. Re-write the script for a modern day situation between a married couple and rehearse. Try to convey the subtext of John and Elizabeth through the movement and physical actions
Act Two From: ‘MARY WARREN. (Dissatisfied, uncertain of herself, she goes out.) Wide-eyed, both PROCTOR and ELIZABETH stand staring.’ To: ‘HALE: I will. (He sits.)’ Discuss, in detail, how you would play either Proctor or Elizabeth in the selected scene. You will need to refer to voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, as well as to how your chosen character responds to others on stage.
He is considered to be, and considers himself, an expert on witchcraft. He is initially summoned to determine whether the devil is in Salem and enthusiastically participates in the court proceedings. When he finally realizes that the girls are lying, it is too late to change the course of action. He attempts to convince the condemned to admit to witchcraft and save themselves from death.
Look at the scene in which Hale first comes to Salem with his learned books (page 30 - 33). What kind of a man is he and what are his hopes? Now look at Hale in Act Four (page 103 – 105). How has he changed and why? In groups of five or six show this in performance focusing on Hale’s physical and vocal changes between the two scenes
Act Two From: ‘HALE: (Thinks then): And yet, Mister, a Christian on Sabbath Day must be in church. (Pause.) Tell me – you have three children?’ To: ‘Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small. (He rises; he seems worried now. He paces a little, in deep thought.)’ Discuss, in detail, how you would play either Proctor or Hale in the selected scene. You will need to refer to voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, as well as to how your chosen character responds to others on stage.
Pastor of the church in Salem. He is the father of Betty and the uncle of Abigail Williams. He believes that he is being persecuted and that the townspeople do not respect his position as a man of God. He secures his desires in the town by preaching fire and brimstone until the people give in. The townspeople have ousted the last few pastors and Parris fears that he may be next. It is only too easy for him to believe the girls because to not believe them would mean that the trouble would be in his own house (Betty and Abigail). If he cannot control his own household, he may not be trusted with an entire village.
Husband of Ann Putnam, father to Ruth. He is a powerful man in the village with a long family line. He forces his way in whatever matters benefit him and becomes extremely bitter when he doesn't succeed. He is accused of coercing his daughter to accuse people, for example, George Jacobs, in order to gain their forfeited land.
Husband to Martha. He inadvertently gives out information that is later used against his wife. He accuses Thomas Putnam of using Ruth to condemn people for his personal gain. Realizing his source will be arrested, he refuses to reveal it feeling that he has done too much damage already. He is arrested for contempt of court. He is eventually pressed to death when he refuses to enter a plea (pleading guilty or being convicted would mean forfeiture of his land, leaving his sons with no inheritance).
Daughter of the Reverend, cousin to Abigail Williams. She is a weak girl who goes along with her cousin as soon as she is threatened. Until Abigail gives her a valid explanation for dancing in the woods, she lies mute in her bed, terrified of her father's reaction. She is easily made into Abigail's tool.
Servant to the Parris household. She is a native of Barbados. She is enlisted by Ruth Putnam and Abigail to cast spells and create charms. When Abigail turns on her to save herself from punishment, Tituba confesses to all and saves herself.
Wife of Thomas Putnam, mother to Ruth. She is a very superstitious woman and believes that the deaths of so many of her babies in childbirth was caused by supernatural means. She sends her daughter to Tituba to cast a spell to discover the murderer.
Servant to the Proctor household. Abigail uses her to effectively accuse Elizabeth. John Proctor takes Mary to the court to confess that the girls are only pretending. She is not strong enough to fight Abigail and as soon as Abigail leads the other girls against her, Mary caves and runs back to her side by accusing Proctor himself.
Servant to the Putnam household. She is a merciless girl who seems to delight in the girls' activities. The threats Abigail uses on the other girls are unnecessary for Mercy. When Abigail eventually leaves town, Mercy goes with her.
Wife to Francis Nurse. She is a pious old woman who has often acted as a midwife for women of the town, including Ann Putnam. She is accused of witchcraft by the girls and convicted of the supernatural murder of the Putnam babies. News of her arrest reveals how out of control the situation has become and inspires Elizabeth Proctor to urge her husband to go to the court with the truth about Abigail. Rebecca refuses to admit to witchcraft to the end and is hanged.
One of the accused. She admits to witchcraft to save herself from death. The Dead Four of the accused died in prison. As many as thirteen others also died there, as prisoners could not be released if they had not paid their prison expenses. The actual number of prison deaths is not accurately accounted for. As mentioned before, Giles Corey was pressed to death. The others died on Gallows Hill.