Figurative Language In The Crucible

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The political plays The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Stolen by Jane Harrison explore the ideas of diabolism and corruption ** In The Crucible, Miller uses figurative language and character contrast to offer his own representation of society’s indigenous to the society of the play’s characters. The poetic language of the text is distinguished by the use of opposites, which illustrate the extreme conflicts that polarise the Salem community. In this expression of opposites, Miller effectively connects the parlous times of Salem village in the 1690s to the similar state of America in the 1950s. exploring themes of corruption, mass hysteria, reputation and moral choice Offering Miller’s political views through his characters and through the…show more content…
The first reference in this context occurs in act 2 when Giles Corey and Francis nurse announce the arrest of their wives, retrieving Hale’s ** response: “Believe me, Mr Nurse, if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning”. The poetic language connects the burning to the political and religious fever which infests Salem and accuses innocent people of witchcraft. Judge Danforth, who is the personification of theocratic power in the play, significantly reinforces the imagery of burning on earth. When John Proctor requests that Danforth hear Mary Warren’s deposition about Abigail’s lies, Danforth warns him: “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment”. Danforth’s admonition holds particular weight, for in his role as chief magistrate, he decides the guild and innocence of the accused. However, Danforth’s fire does not burn under a crucible of truth and religious purity, but rather for the political punishment of innocent people unwilling to bend to the will of the state. In the sense of opposites with which Miller constructs the poetic language of the play, Danforth’s control of the hot fire of the witchcraft hysteria suggests that his judgement is the antithesis of God’s

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