The Crucible Yellow Bird Scene Analysis

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In Arthur Miller’s hit play, The Crucible, the yellow bird scene contains wild drama and fear. Mary Warren begins the scene filled with honesty, but as the commotion progresses, all sense of logic disappears, and the scene dissolves into panic. Miller creates this tone of hysteria through both the chaotic stage directions and intense dialogue.
Throughout the scene, Miller’s stage directions, and the dialogue of his characters, throw the courtroom into panic and bring the tension to new heights. The way Danforth interrupts Reverend Hale while he pleads, “ I pray you call back his wife before we-,” changes the way the characters treat each other, effectively introducing a new sense of hysterics to the scene. (114) The argumentative manner of
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He describes Mary screaming, “ as though infected,” while the girls cower, “as though” they had been cursed. (118) These similes paint a detailed picture of the scene, intensifying the craziness and depicting the mass hysteria in the courtroom. Mary, due to Miller’s directing, embodies the sense of fear driving the panic of the scene. She sustains the wildness of all previous allegations through her exclamation that John Proctor is, “the Devil’s man.”(118) Miller uses Mary’s accusation to add drama, as well as a new dimension of suspicion, to the situation. All of these powerful emotions combine to reach a point of utter hysteria. Proctor responds to the blame he endures by laughing “insanely”, displaying him as a madman. (119) Miller directs the characters to behave as though crazy because it enhances the insanity of their environment. He transforms Proctor from a level-headed townsperson into someone not altogether sane. The way he manipulates John’s character adds more panic to the overall tone of the scene through drastic change and another layer of delusion. Miller uses clever stage directions and accusatory dialogue to further perpetuate the tone of hysteria within the yellow bird

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