Comparing ‘The Crucible’ with ‘Macbeth’ Essay.
My practical work in November 2002 was for option 2. it was a piece of scripted performance and was based on the theme of witches and the supernatural.
My contribution to the performance was a character called Marry Warren. I had to help a character called John Proctor; this is because Marry Warren is trying to get out of the group of girls. Marry Warren then betrays John Procter and joins the group of girls again, because of Abigail was making a fool out of Marry Warren.
To help me in my work, I looked for information in the video. I also read a play called ‘Macbeth’, written by William Shakespeare. ‘Macbeth’ was set in Scotland in the 17th centaury. The system of government at the time was that of a monarchy in which the king makes the laws and punishes people. The people would fight for the king. The culture at that time was one is which people believed in witches and the supernatural. Witches were seen as prophets, they were powerful symbols for soldiers.
However, ‘The Crucible’ was set in Salem, Massachusetts, USA in the 17th centaury. The system of government at the time was that of theocracy in which people believed in the bible and followed it. Judges were called into decide punishments. Anyone accused of heretical beliefs could be punished. At that time people believed the devil could pass anyone and cause him or her to say or do anything.
The genre for ‘Macbeth’ is gothic tragedy. The theme for the play is supernatural, deceiving appearances and prophecy. The supernatural was that the witches are more what we expect, conventional during those times. Sources of information did not shock Macbeth as we expected. The deceiving appearances of witches were the first main incident. The witches were trying to manipulate Macbeth. The prophecy of the play suggests people looking for signs to guide them.
On the other hand, the genre for ‘The Crucible’ is a historical fiction melodrama. The theme for ‘The Crucible’ is deception, supernatural and hysteria. The deception in ‘The Crucible’ is that there were no actual witches which added to the hysteria. Supernatural in ‘The Crucible’ was that witches were seen as people working with the devil also the town people are afraid of what witches symbolised. The hysteria in ‘The Crucible’ was once accusations began people feared devil had arrived. This meant their right were ignored in order to find the cause of problem.
The performance style for ‘Macbeth’ is partly classical. Macbeth is a war hero yet suddenly loves having powers. Facial expressions and body movement were very important. Elizabethian theatre did not have any dramatic lighting or sound effects. Therefore much of the acting and events are exaggerated. However, ‘The Crucible’ performance style is classical. As the genre is mellow drama, the acting has to be exaggerated to capture the hysteria. In ‘The Crucible’ Abigail dramatically changes her acting style to meet her needs. Abigail often makes clear how she feels or over exaggerated her movement to make her aim clear.