The Crucible  York Notes GCSE Revision Guide

Revise the key points

Read through the key points, then print the cards as a handy revision aid.

1 Religious language

The theme of religion is developed through the use of religious language throughout the play. It also creates atmosphere and adds gravitas to certain characters, i.e. Reverend Hale who says: 'I have gone this three months like our Lord into the wilderness' (p. 105).

LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE

The Crucible

2 Allegory

The play can be read simply as a play about witchcraft in the 1600s or as a play about the Communist Witch-hunts of the 1950s, or both.

LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE

The Crucible

3 Proctor's language

Proctor speaks using imperatives and declaratives, showing his authority, particularly over women, but he is also given the most powerfully personal speeches, simple and direct in their expression of emotion.

LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE

The Crucible

4 Stage directions

The stage directions are important in establishing the mood of the characters and revealing their innermost feelings. For example, in Act Four Miller describes Proctor and Elizabeth in a 'spinning world. . . beyond sorrow, above it'.

LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE

The Crucible

5 Tragic structure

The play includes aspects of tragedy with an introduction, rising and falling action, climax and resolution. It is clear from the outset that it will end in death.

LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE

The Crucible

Choose another topic: