Reading Strategy The Crucible: Act 1 Most plays are written to be performed, Text Structure: not read. Dialogue When reading drama, it is important to identify the text structures that provide different kinds of information. Examples of text structures: Character •Dialogue: the words spoken by the actors • Stage directions: details the playwright includes about the setting and action. Text Structure: •Stage directions may be set in italic Stage Directions type or in brackets to distinguish them from dialogue. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. The Crucible: Act 1 Literary Analysis Plot is the sequence of events that happen in a story. • Plots follow a series of phases called the “dramatic arc.” • Plot is always driven by a conflict, or struggle, between opposing forces. Rising Action: The conflict is introduced and begins to build. Climax: The conflict reaches its moment of greatest intensity. This is the turning point, when an event signals the final outcome. Falling Action: The conflict diminishes and approaches resolution. Resolution: The conflict ends. In this play, Miller uses dramatic exposition, or prose commentaries, to provide background information about the characters and their world. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Reading Strategy The Crucible: Act 2 As you read, help yourself stay alert to important details and changes in characters and situations by making predictions about what will happen next. Notice hints the author drops about what might occur and apply your own background knowledge and understanding of human nature. Detail Prediction What Actually Happened Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. The Crucible: Act 2 Literary Analysis Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. • An external conflict takes place between a character and an external force • Examples: society, nature, fate, or another person. • An internal conflict takes place within a character who is torn by his or her own competing or contradictory values or desires. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Reading Strategy In this act, the court proceedings become the focus of attention. As they do, the faulty logic supporting accusations of witchcraft becomes more formalized. The justifications accusers use are examples of logical fallacy, arguments that may seem reasonable but are founded on a wrong premise. As you read, evaluate arguments used to bring accusations and condemn the innocent. Determine the premise that underlies the accusations and trace the logic that supports the argument. The Crucible: Act 3 Argument Logical? Credible Evidence? Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Logical or Illogical? • Mrs. Edge was out sick yesterday. Ms. Tillman must have cast a spell on her. • Mrs. Edge was out sick yesterday. Maybe she had a cold. • Martha Corey sold pigs to Mr. Walcott and they died. She must be a witch. • Martha Corey sold pigs to Mr. Walcott and they died. Mr. Walcott maybe does not know how to take care of pigs. Literary Analysis The Crucible: Act 3 Characterization is the art of revealing characters’ personalities. • Direct characterization, the author simply tells the reader what a character is like. Example: in stage directions • Indirect characterization in which characters’ traits are revealed through • the character’s words, actions, and appearance; • other characters’ comments; • other characters’ reactions. Characters’ motives—the reasons for their behavior—may be stated directly or suggested through indirect characterization. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Indirect or Direct Characterization? • Ms. Tillman said, “Mrs. Edge is tall.” • Mrs. Edge’s head hit the chandelier when she walked into the room. • Cheever was afraid of Elizabeth Proctor’s poppet. • Cheever looked at the poppet wide-eyed and trembling. Reading Strategy The Crucible: Act 4 Arthur Miller brings many areas Philosophical Idea of Puritan thought to bear on the story of The Crucible. These philosophical, political, Characters religious, ethical, and social influences shape the characters, setting, actions, and ultimate Settings meaning of the play. As you read, use a chart like the one shown to evaluate the Events influences of the historical period as Miller presents them in Act IV. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved. The Crucible: Act 4 Literary Analysis Tragedy is a dramatic form that was first developed in ancient Greece. A tragedy usually has these characteristics: • The main character is involved in a struggle that ends in disaster. This character, often called the tragic hero, is a person of high rank who has the respect of the community. • The tragic hero’s downfall is usually the result of some combination of fate, an error in judgment, and a personality weakness often called a tragic flaw. • Once the tragedy is in motion, the downfall is usually inevitable. • The tragic hero gains wisdom or insight by the play’s end. Tragedy arouses feelings of pity and fear in the audience. A tragic drama may also suggest that the human spirit is capable of remarkable nobility even in the midst of great suffering. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc, or its affiliates. All rights reserved.