The Most Compelling Scene in The Crucible
'A sound'. The scene that I find most compelling in the Crucible
begins with this stage direction on page 116 and ends with Proctor's
line 'It is evil and I do it' on page 120. In this scene, Elizabeth
and John Proctor are allowed to talk together, alone, for the first
time in three months. I find this scene compelling, as it creates a
touching piece of drama to see the couple reunited again, and it is
upsetting for the reader or audience to think that Proctor might be
hung soon after. It also causes us to feel admiration for the strength
of Elizabeth's character and the intensity of their relationship.
Just after the entrance of Elizabeth, Proctor's feelings are blatant
to those around him, and the lack of dialect from him, as well as the
stage directions, shows us the passion he's feeling at this moment. As
John and Elizabeth first see each other, Proctor ignores what Danforth
has to say to him, and the repetition of the stage direction 'Proctor
is silent, staring at Elizabeth' shows his coolness at Danforth, and
how unnecessary and inadequate words are to express what he's feeling.
As Parris makes his offer of cider 'from a safe distance', it shows
that even he is aware of how potentially dangerous Proctor could be
with the amount of emotion he is feeling as he makes sure that he is
out of harm's way. Also, the way he stops speaking abruptly and holds
his hands out as if to show that he means no harm even though Proctor
has said nothing and only turned 'an icy stare' upon him shows that he
is being extremely careful lest he angers Proctor too much. The first
part of this scene is compelling, as it shows how actions truly speak
louder than words, as Proctor does not say a single word until he and
Elizabeth are alone.
Even when the Proctors are left alone together, their feelings are
almost too much for them to bear at first. After Parris walks out, the
first sentence is a stage direction set in a fragment format. 'Alone.'
This short sentence gives the impact needed to make the reader realise
that they are finally reunited and together alone for the first time
in three months. 'It is as though they stood in a spinning world'
where no one else matters. Proctor can't quite believe that Elizabeth
is really there, and they are 'beyond sorrow, above it' but they never
tell each other that, as if again, words would fail to convey what
they want to express. As they start to talk to each other, their first
words are tentative and few, as if they find it hard to summon any
other things to say other than polite formalities as the 'emotion
between them is so strong'. Another reason they might sound so formal
may be because a wrongly timed word might open the gates whereupon
tears and passionate words might flow out afterwards. The audience and
reader both can find this extremely tense and moving, as we wonder
what words might follow, as this could be their last...