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The crucible

            How does Miller create an atmosphere of tension and hysteria in the "yellow bird scene"?.
             In this piece of coursework I will be analysing how Arthur Miller creates an atmosphere of tension and hysteria in the "yellow bird scene". I will also be discussing the context of the writing.
             The title is important because a Crucible is a dish used in chemistry for separating impurities from metals. The metal is placed in a dish then heated and all the impurities in the metal are removed. This is relevant to the play because the metal would be like the people of Salem and the Crucible represents the courts the impurities are linked to witchcraft and the heat is like the religion in Salem. .
             The Crucible was written in 1952, during the cold war. The play draws parallels with communism in the U.S., "show trials" and McCarthyism. The Crucible is based on a true story therefore he based his story on real life events in Salem from the 17th century. Miller had to hide the true meaning of the play because he would have been accused of being a communist himself and would have probably been deported.
             The Crucible is about Witchcraft and peoples greed for more land. The Crucible is set in a small village called Salem in the State of Massachusetts in 1692. The story is about the witchcraft trials that happened in that period. The town of Salem was very Puritan and their lifestyle was very strict and religious. Any form of Secular entertainment was banned. So Salem's youth privately made there own methods of entertainment. A group of girls were caught by Reverend Parris whilst they were dancing in the woods this started a dramatic chain of events ending with the deaths of many innocent lives. This scene is essential to the play because it is a pivotal scene this means the play could go either way and the outcome of the scene will determine the outcome of the play.
             The main characters in the scene are John Proctor, Abigail Williams and Mary Warren; they all have very different characters and roles to play.

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