English Literature PBQWatch
Arthur Miller conjures a gripping and powerful ending in the tragic play, “The Crucible ''. Proctors rebellious choice for dignity and pride cost him his life, highlighting the superstitious and ignorant beliefs of the Salemite. Hence, Proctor becomes a martyr for Salem, creating a powerful symbolism in the plotline and justifying the downfalls of the biased and corrupted theocratic society. Furthermore, the contextual irony of Proctor being hanged after he atoned to his sins ends the plot in a theatrical manner. The victory of irrationality and religious beliefs over logic and reasoning is a consequence of the chaos and conflict present in the extract , thereby forming a dramatic and impactful ending.
Miller creates a dramatic environment during this extract through the heroic death of Proctor in protection of his honour. Proctor exclaims” there’s your first marvel” foreshadowing the rebellion and eventual downfall of the theocracy in Salem. Moreover , his repetition of “ I Can “ sheds light on his strong sense of individuality and pride . The “ shred of goodness “ aids readers in understanding the value of honour to Proctor and the conflicting ideologies of him and the court. Therefore, Miller forms a powerful symbolism in the ending . “ To keep it from the dogs” is a very powerful quote in the extract as it captures the essence of the conflict between logic and religion , represented by Proctor and the court. This honourable death evokes pathos in the readers and the skilfully used speech direction creates a theatrical and moving moment
Furthermore, the illiberal and illogical beliefs of the religion driven society are
highlighted to show in the extract to portray the stark contrast between the two sides. Miller uses various dialogues to convey the message , however the essence of the argument is captured in “”You will sign your name or it is no confession, Mister!” .
“ sign” demonstrates to the readers the madness and irrationality of the court as they show desperation to prove their point to the town. In addition , “name” is an important motif in the drama as it represents the dignity and honour of a man or the “last shred of goodness” in Proctor’s perspective. Miller re-introduces the concept of sinning by “confession” which lets readers see the animosity created due to difference in thought process. Overall ,this extract is powerfully dramatic as it portrays the chaos and hysteria developed by the theocratic system present in Salem
The misfortunate presiding of irrationality over logic plays a key role in making this ending impactful to the readers. The Salem high court are evidently biased throughout the drama but their worst shortcomings are encapsulated in this extract as they force Proctor to confess on paper – “, your word is good enough! – Here, Miller implies that the Salem court has ulterior motives which is ironic in the situation as Proctor is accused for the same thing. The clash of pride and religion , a major conflict throughout the drama is intensified in this scene , gripping the readers as they anxiously anticipate the outcome of this confrontation. “ the tearing paper was his life “ is another quintessential element in intensifying the scene. The metaphor not only foreshadows the death of Proctor but shows the readers his perseverance to stick to his pride even in the face of death , evoking a sea of pathos as readers approach his anti-climactic death while the true sinners live on. Henceforth , this ending synthesises all the themes of the drama into a moving and heart-throbbing scene
The playwright creates an atmosphere of anticipation and confusion in the minds of readers , parallel to that of Salem. Miller does this as the whole scene is ironical and can reasonably be interpreted as hypocritical. A quote that captures this is “You have come to save my soul, did you not?”. The rhetorical question by Proctor demonstrates to the readers his disbelief of the false intentions of the court. “ save my soul” is highly satirical as by signing the confession , Proctor, an influential figure in the town would support the very system that gets him and many others killed. Moreover , he is accused of sinning while readers know from other parts of the drama, that the true sinners are the court. This feeling of confusion , conflict and ideology strikes the hearts of the readers as there is no clear good or bad character to believe , thereby Miller imprints his message to great effect.
To conclude , the playwright unwaveringly produces a powerfully dramatic ending to the “ Crucible” pushing readers to the edge of their seats. The readers are hit emotionally as Proctor dies a hero’s death as an act to protect the morals he values through the full length of “ The Crucible” and to not crumple in front of the religious, hypocritical high court who shrouded Salem with hysteria and fear, thereby shattering the hearts of readers as they finish the drama.