Culture affects Essay
This essay will be focussed on comparing two scenes from two different plays, the main characters and their personalities, and how their culture affects them. The two plays in question are Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and “Blackrock” by Nick Enright. Arthur Miller was an American playwright who was born in 1915. He grew up in New York to a Jewish family. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1938 where he began to distinguish himself as a playwright.
His play “The Crucible” was written in 1953 and later adapted to a film starring Daniel Day Lewis and Winnona Rider in 1996. “The Crucible” inspired by the Salem Witch Trials. A group of innocent girls are caught dancing and chanting in the forest around a fire. (Puritan England where all forms of dancing and enjoyment would be strictly forbidden) To save themselves from being punished, they cry witchcraft and within days the whole town goes mad searching for the presence of the ‘Devil’ and his witches. The few honest and true people who do not lie to save themselves from hanging are coldly murdered, including John Proctor the main male role.
Nick Enright was born in Maitland in New South Wales. He started his career in the theatre as a teenager and wrote Blackrock in 19 and later on in 1997 was adapted to a film. “Blackrock” about a teen’s idyllic surfer lifestyle is shattered when a young girl is brutally murdered after a beach party and the investigation comes close to his circle of friends. The young man Jared, must deal with his conscience and his sense of loyalty to his friends. Both the plays “Blackrock” and “The Crucible” although set in different time periods, both have a main character faced with some sort of personal moral dilemma. The decision between right and wrong, and having the courage to put yourself at risk on behalf of others.
Act 4 of “The Crucible” The scene changes from the Vestry in the Courthouse to Salem jail. Marshall Herrick enters and wakes up Goody Good and Tituba so that they can be moved to a different cell. Tituba tells Herrick that they await the Devil, who will fly them to Barbados. The Reverend Hale arrives and tells the prisoners that they must confess to being witches in order to thwart the ridiculous Court and avoid being hanged.
Reverend Parris discovers that Abigail and Mercy Lewis have disappeared after robbing Parris and he suspects they may have boarded a ship. Parris delays telling Danforth this news because he fears that there will be a rebellion in Salem similar to the recent uprising in Andover. There they threw out the Court, as the people were unhappy with the proceedings. When Danforth learns about the disappearance of Abigail he still considers that the evidence stands and will not postpone the executions for it would be a sign of weakness. Hale pleads with him to reconsider or at least give him time to persuade the prisoners to confess. Reverend Hale is having difficulties in persuading the seven condemned to death to confess, and he pleads again with Danforth for more time.
He senses that Proctor is considering confessing, so he asks Elizabeth to talk to her husband stressing the future in store for their children if he is hanged. Elizabeth feels responsible for Proctor’s situation because she lied in Court. She also feels guilty for being suspicious about her husband after the affair with Abigail. She tells Proctor that she totally forgives him for the affair. Proctor hopes that if he makes an oral confession in Court, that will be sufficient for his Judges, but they require it in writing and it will be posted on the Church door. He cannot face this and, therefore, retracts his confession. He would rather die, and preserve his good name.
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