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The events of the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in 1692, were the focus of the film The Crucible, released in 1996. The film was based on Arthur Miller’s play of the same name, which also inspired the movie. Some parts of the film are faithful recreations of the actual events that took place during the Salem Witch Trials; however, many other components of the movie are not (Foulis, 2014). The American playwright Arthur Miller is responsible for writing the award-winning dramatist The Crucible, which premiered in 1953. It takes place in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials of 1625 and follows the story of Abigail Williams, who was 17 years old at the time and had an affair with a respected family member called John Proctor. The story is set in Salem.
The play and the movie are pretty different in many fundamental ways, the most noticeable of which are the setting, the story, and the characters. As a result of the adaptation process, there are a few critical variations between the film and the stage adaptation. My understanding is that the play was adapted into a movie to provide an interesting perspective on the events that were occurring and make it easy to grasp what was happening in each of the play’s scenes. I believe this is the case (Foulis, 2014). The increased sense of drama generated by the event’s filming may be attributed, in part, to the use of music and the detailed direction used while shooting the individual segments. A moment early on in the movie takes place in the woods. Although it was handled reasonably differently in the play, the movie adaptation handles it differently.
To begin, during one of the scenes, Betty is heard calling for her mother and begins to scream once she does not get a response. This scene does not occur in the play because Betty does not move and acts as if she is sick; therefore, she never cries or yells at any point throughout the performance (Foulis, 2014). In the movie, when Reverend Parris asks Abigail whether her reputation in town is good, he slaps her; in the play, he never touches her. Such action depicts another distinction. Tituba is again accused of practicing witchcraft in another scene. However, in the play, Reverend Parris threatens to beat Tituba to death, but in the movie, he does whip her until she admits to engaging in witchcraft.
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Compared to her portrayal in the play, Abigail’s final element in the film is different since she is revealed to have made false allegations of witchcraft against other people out of her love for John Proctor (Belounis, 2021). We see such action in the scene in the film where she visits John Proctor while he is incarcerated and tells him that she has made all of the necessary preparations for her exit from the town and that he will be able to follow her if he chooses to do so. If it had been nothing more than passion, she never would have gone to such lengths since she would not have cared nearly as much about his life.
The females in the film escape by running outside the church where the hearings are taking place, and they gang up on Mary in a separate room before the proceedings begin, but in the play, they do it in court. When Williams is accused of witchcraft for participating in what seems to be a summoning of spirits in the forest one morning, she faces the prospect of facing the death penalty if proven guilty. These two versions of Miller’s classic play “The Crucible” work well together (Belounis, 2021). Despite the film’s reiteration of the play’s subject and premise, several contrasting variances exist. The film includes moments only mentioned in the book, enabling the spectator to appreciate the tale completely. These additions are also crucial to describe feelings and emphasize key character traits.
When compared to the play, the movie conveys a much greater number of moments and feelings. For instance, Abigail’s feelings for John Proctor were much more robust in the film than in the play. The play occurred inside a single chamber, but the movie had multiple scenes filmed outdoors. Tituba, the Reverend Parris’s slave, is shown singing for a group of young ladies as they gather around a fire in another setting. A character tosses a frog into the stew in the play and the movie adaptation of the story. Because of this, Abigail’s mental health starts to deteriorate rapidly. However, this was just a recollection of a flashback in the play. Although Mercy Lewis was the one who stripped in real life, Abigail is the one who does it in the movie. In addition, Abigail covered her face in chicken blood, which was something she did not seem to do throughout the performance. Tituba was warned that she would get a whipping for her transgressions in the play; nevertheless, this punishment took place in the movie.
- Belounis, R. (2021). John Proctor’s moral responsibility in Arthur Miller’s” The Crucible.
- Foulis, M. (2014). The Crucible: A Comparative Study of the Play and the Film.