The Crucible And Liberty Leading The People Essay - English - Essay

911 words - 4 pages

Evaluate the ways that the nature of political power is represented
and critiqued in your prescribed text and ONE other text of your own
Politics is a complex human construct, often manipulated and redefined by individuals in the 
process of pursuing power and self preservation. Influential composers often critique and 
explore the fractured nature of politics - such as Arthur Miller and Eugene Delacroix through 
The Crucible ​ and ​Liberty Leading the People​ respectively. Arthur Miller’s allegorical play, is 
a dramatisation of the late 1600’s Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts, underpinning 
the values of McCarthyism in 1950’s America. Through his tragic four act play, Miller critiques 
the nature of exploitation of power through institutionalisation and the motivations behind 
pursuing political power at the expense of the greater good. Playwright Arthur Miller conveys 
that this notion of political ideologies is exploited through the character Abigail Williams and 
subverted by John Proctor. On the other hand, Delacroix’s painting represents the political 
motivations and actions behind the revolt through the representation of Liberty as a symbol 
for freedom and unity. Therefore, through the effective manipulation of characterisation, 
composers are able to promote the facade of political agendas and expose the ….   
Composers demonstrate how the actions of individuals parallel to the morally corrupt and 
misconstrued political objections of the upper class. Through the foundation of Miller’s four 
act tragedy, he exposes how the misuse of power ultimately leads to a politically fractured 
society. The motif of darkness through the characterisation of Abigail encapsulates how The 
Crucible similar to the McCarthy tribunals, portrays the concept of repression, prejudicial 
intimidation and dominance of strict social hierarchies. Abigail’s eagerness for power is 
demonstrated through “I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and bring a 
pointy reckoning...I have seen some reddish work done at night”, the dead imagery alludes to 
how Abigail manipulates fear for political gain, this foreshadows her dedication to further her 
self-preservation in the latter acts. Miller characterises Abigail as destructive, trying to go 
against Puritan values through the biblical allusion “if she walks the crowd will part like the 
sea of Israel”, leads to form a juxtaposition of Christian values alluding Moses. Thus, it is 
evident that through the construction of a four act tragedy and manipulation of 
characterisation, Miller is able to explore the motivation and action of those who strives for 
political power and how it affects their personal character and society.  
Similarly, Delacroix’s chosen medium of artwork as a vehicle to critique the political act 
allows him to visually depict the nature of political motivations and actions of the French 
during the July Revolution. Through Delacroix’s construction o...

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