The Crucible: Play vs. Film

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The Crucible: Play vs. Film The film adaptation of the Crucible, while still retaining the essence of the play, tends to omit parts of the play that are uninteresting and adds in parts that might increase the drama and/or appeal of the film. Three examples of this are Mary Warren’s backpedaling when trying to unravel the hoax of the trials, the complete lack of the introduction to Act Four with Herrick clearing the jail cell from Tituba and Sarah Good, and the addition of Abigail’s offer to John Proctor to escape Salem and go to Barbados with her. In the play, Mary Warren tries hard to convince Danforth and Hathorne that Abigail and the other girls are lying, and when she realizes that she isn’t going to be successful, she turns against Proctor and claims that he forced her to lie to the court. This all happened in the court room. However, in the film adaptation, the entire scene is extended and dramatized much more than the play by making the girls scream and run into a lake in fear of Mary Warren’s “spirit,” where Mary Warren then backpedals on her claims and turns against Proctor. The introduction of Act Four in the play has a drunken marshal Herrick take Sarah Good and Tituba out of their jail cells while Tituba makes strange claims that “the Devil will take her home.” This scene is removed entirely in the film, presumably because, at least in my opinion, it was uninteresting and didn’t serve much of a purpose. It was replaced (in terms of chronology, directly before Parris advises Danforth to postpone the hangings) with the scene in the next example. In Act Four of the play, Abigail has already escaped from Salem after stealing Parris’s money and catching a boat ride to the Barbados. However, in the film, Abigail stops to speak to John Proctor before leaving, stating that she didn’t mean any harm to him and proceeding to offer him his freedom and a free
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