GCSE Homework – Structure in The Crucible

Write me a short essay (500 words – include a wordcount) with the following title:

How does Arthur Miller use the structure of the play to heighten tension and enhance his message?

This is definitely an exercise in researching and thinking – it will be obvious if you haven’t done these.
We talked about some of the things that you can think about in the lesson, and there are some ideas about how to approach the essay. after the break.

1. Pay attention to the question.

This is a question about structure, so you need to address that exclusively.

2. Go through and take notes on the Acts.

Pay special attention to how each one begins and ends. These will determine the ebb and flow of the play. Does the tension rise throughtout the Act? Does the mood change between acts? Are there any great dramatic moments at the end of any of the Acts?

3. Pay attention to turning points

We’ve done a lot of work on turning points, so pay attention to them. They are often used to ratchet up the sense of tension, by continually frustrating the reader/audience. Make note of these, and use them.

Obviously, the normal rules apply – use lots of evidence. If someone is shouting or crying out, that is a strong dramatic device, so quote what they say. Equally, if something frustrates the audience’s expectations, what exactly is it that is said, and what is the effect?

I want lots of evidence of research here, gentlemen. The essay may be short, but that is just to give you more time to research and structure, so do yourselves proud.


~ by mrprestney on March 23, 2009.

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