Establishing Character and Tragedy in "The Crucibile"How does Arthur Miller develop character and establish a basis for tragedy in The Crucible? foil characterdirect...

Establishing Character and Tragedy in "The Crucibile"

How does Arthur Miller develop character and establish a basis for tragedy in The Crucible? 

foil character

direct characterization


character action

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Overture, or Act I of "The Crucible", Miller first introduces s Parris by saying"In history, he cut a villainous path". This immediately creates suspense because that no matter what happens, the audience knows Parris is not a good man. His first utterance is a short command barked out to his slave. As more characters come and go from the stage and speak with Reverend Parris, we learn that several of the teenage girls of Salem were caught dancing naked in the woods with Tituba, Parris’ slave from Barbados. The girls were discovered by Reverend Parris, who had seen Tituba “waving her arms. . . and speaking gibberish. Betty will not wake up. He then shows his insecurity when he tries to find out what Abigail and Betty were doing in the forest. Unconcerned for his daughter's health, he says," I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it." Miller has just established Parris' weak, paranoid character, and set up the events from the previous night which will test the entire community.He has also introduced important characters such as Abigail and Ann and Tom Putnam, whose daughter will also not wake up. A leader of the community who is flawed by insecurity is now in charge of investigation he is totally unprepared to lead. This course of events paves the way for the absurdity that follows.

Read the study guide:
The Crucible

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question