from The Crucible Drama by Arthur Miller Introducing the Drama with Literary Analysis: Conventions of Drama Reading Skill: Draw Conclusions About Characters Vocabulary in Context VIDEO TRAILER
INTRODUCING THE DRAMA What fuels a MOB? Visualize a mob of people rampaging through the streets, whipped into a frenzy by hysteria. The fear, anger, and panic produced by hysteria can make otherwise reasonable people do irrational things.
In The Crucible, for example, the hysteria created by the Salem witch trials makes neighbor turn against neighbor. INTRODUCING THE DRAMA What fuels a MOB?
DISCUSS What makes people act as a mob? What are some of the results of mob action? Think about news reports or historical accounts of mobs that you’ve come across. In a small group, discuss what caused these mobs to form and how they behaved. INTRODUCING THE DRAMA What fuels a MOB? Mob marching, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1959
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Conventions of Drama Drama is literature in play form. It is meant to be performed and seen. However, an understanding of dramatic conventions can help you picture the performance when you read a script.
As you read The Crucible, be aware of these drama conventions:
Stage directions, which Miller uses not only to describe settings and characters but also to provide historical background in the form of expository mini-essays
Conventions of Drama
Dialogue, the lifeblood of drama, which moves the plot forward and reveals character traits
Types of characters— heroes, villains, and foils—which Miller uses to heighten the tension of his drama
Conventions of Drama
Plot, which is driven by conflict that builds throughout each act
Draw Conclusions About Characters The descriptions in the stage directions can also provide insight into these characters. Characters in drama reveal their personality traits through their words and actions.
As you read The Crucible, draw conclusions about the play’s main characters. Record important traits and the evidence that reveals these traits in a chart like the one shown. Be sure to add characters to the chart as you encounter them. proud Reverend John Hale Abigail Williams John Proctor assertive Draw Conclusions About Characters Traits Evidence Motivation resentment pride
Arthur Miller uses the vocabulary words in the box on the right to help convey the atmosphere of the Salem witch trials. Place them in the following categories: words that describe character traits, words that describe actions, and words that are concepts. adamant anarchy contentious corroborate deference immaculate imperceptible iniquity subservient Describe character traits Describe actions Are concepts
adamant adj. immovable, especially in opposing something anarchy n. condition of lawlessness and disorder, often due to lack of governmental authority contentious adj. quarrelsome corroborate v. to support with evidence deference n. respect and honor due to a superior or elder immaculate adj. without stain; pure
imperceptible adj. extremely slight; barely noticeable iniquity n. wickedness subservient adj. acting like a servant