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The Crucible Summary and Analysis of Act Three


The third act happens in the vestry space of the Salem meeting home, which is now acting as the waiting room of the General Court. Judge Hathorne asks Martha Corey if she denies being a witch, which she does. She claims to not understand what a witch is, to which he replies “how do you understand, then, that you are not a witch?”

From outdoors, Giles Corey screams that Thomas Putnam is reaching out for land, however Danforth, the Deputy Governor, silences him. Giles requires his method into the court with Reverend Hale. Giles provides himself to Danforth and Hathorne, telling them that he owns six hundred acres and wood. Giles states he means no disrespect to the court, however he just implied that his other half read books, not that she was a witch.

Francis Nurse likewise provides himself, and informs Danforth that he has evidence that the ladies are scams. Danforth reminds him that he has four hundred individuals in prison upon his signature, and seventy-two condemned to hang. Mary Warren enters with Proctor, and Parris cautions him that Proctor is mischief. Proctor informs Danforth that Mary Warren never ever saw any spirits, and he provides a deposition signed by Mary Warren that asserts this. Parris thinks that they have come to overthrow the court. Mary admits that her fits of bewitchment were pretense. Danforth concerns Proctor, questioning whether he has any surprise intent to undermine the court. Cheever informs Danforth how Proctor ripped up the warrant, but Proctor says that it was just out of temper. Cheever likewise tells Danforth how Proctor plows on Sunday and does not come to church. Proctor asks Danforth if it strikes him odd that these women have lived so long with such an upright track record only to be implicated.

Danforth tells Proctor that his partner is pregnant; although Proctor did not understand this, he tells them that Elizabeth never ever lies. Danforth consents to let Elizabeth live another month so that she may reveal signs of pregnancy, and if she is pregnant she will live another year so that she might provide.

Proctor submits a deposition to Danforth signed by ninety-one citizens vouching for their excellent opinion of Rebecca, Martha Corey and Elizabeth. Parris requires that these ninety-one be summoned for questioning, and claims it is an attack on the court. Hale asks if every defense is an attack on the court, but Parris tells him that all innocent and Christian individuals are pleased with the courts in Salem. Mary Warren begins to sob. Hathorne reads the deposition, and asks which attorney composed it, however Giles states that he wrote it. He has been a complainant in thirty-three lawsuit, and thus has great experience with the law. Hathorne’s dad even tried a case of Corey’s.

Mr. Putnam shows up, and Danforth tells him that there is an allegation that he prompted his child to weep witchery upon George Jacobs. Giles claims that the proof is that if Jacobs hangs for a witch he surrenders his property and only Putnam can purchase it. Giles claims that somebody told him that he heard Putnam say that his daughter provided him a reasonable gift of land when she accused Jacobs. Giles refuses to name this individual, however. When Danforth threatens Giles with contempt, Giles responds that this is not a main court session. Danforth arrests Giles for contempt, and Giles makes a rush for Putnam, however Proctor holds him back. Proctor comforts Mary. Hale recommends Danforth that he can not state that Proctor is an honest guy, but it would be much better to send him home to employ a lawyer. Hale has signed seventy-two death warrants, and he claims that he attempts not take a life without taking a look at any affordable doubt. He now questions the regret of Rebecca Nurse.

Danforth describes that witchcraft is by its very nature an unnoticeable criminal offense, hence only the witch and the victim will witness it. The witch will not accuse herself, hence one must count on the victim. Parris wants to question them, however Danforth informs him to be quiet. Mary Warren claims that she is with God now, and Danforth informs her that she is either lying now or was lying earlier, and in either case committed perjury. Abigail enters with the other girls. Abigail tells Danforth that Goody Proctor constantly kept poppets. Proctor declares that he believes Abigail indicates to murder his other half, and orders Mary to inform Danforth how the women danced in the woods naked. Parris tells Danforth that he never ever found anybody naked, but admits to discovering them dancing. Parris requires that Mary Warren pretend to faint as she had done before, but she can not, for she has no sense of it. She as soon as thought she saw spirits, now she does not.

Abigail threatens Danforth, claiming that the powers of Hell might impact him soon. Abigail pretends that she feels a sharp wind threatening her. Proctor calls Abigail a slut and gets her by the hair. Lastly he admits that he had an affair with Abigail. The court fears that if this holds true, it finally provides an inspiration for Abigail to be lying. Danforth orders Parris to bring Elizabeth to the court. If Elizabeth admits to shooting Abigail for her affair with Proctor, Danforth will charge Abigail. Proctor is positive that his other half would never, might never ever lie, even to save him. But Elizabeth is questioned with her back towards Proctor so they can not interact, and she says that she fired Abigail since she displeased her, and since she thought that her spouse fancied her. She states that Proctor never ever devoted lechery. Proctor sobs out for Elizabeth to inform the truth, that he has currently admitted, however Danforth orders Elizabeth to leave.

Proctor states that his other half meant just to conserve his credibility. Hale claims that it is a natural lie to tell, and to stop prior to another person is condemned. Abigail then claims that she sees Mary Warren’s spirit manifested as a bird, attempting to hurt her. Mary Warren sobs that she is merely standing in court, however Abigail continues with the charade. Mary Warren declares that the girls are lying, but after Danforth threatens her and Abigail declines to stop her charade, Mary submits and implicates Proctor of being the Devil’s male. She states that Proctor made her indication the Devil’s book and made her shot to overthrow the court. Danforth orders Proctor to confess his obligation with Satan, however Proctor sobs out that God is dead, and that a fire is burning because the court is “pulling Paradise down and raising up a whore.” Hale denounces the proceedings and gives up the court.


Amongst the characters in the play, it is Deputy Guv Danforth who appears to provide the most obvious sign of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Danforth rules over the procedures as if the accused are guilty up until proven innocent, and adopts a harsh and vindictive air. However, Miller does not make Danforth a direct equivalent of the irrational demagogue McCarthy; rather, Danforth is a stern, cold man of unfailing faith in his judicial powers. He does not manifest any particular political aspiration, however instead acts to maintain the strength of the court over which he rules. This does make Danforth suspicious of any attack on the complainants and the proceedings, but also enables him some room for versatility. He uses factor to persuade Proctor to drop his charges versus Abigail, informing him that his other half is spared for at least a year which he need not stress over her execution. It is Danforth’s stern rationality that makes him a more troubling figure; he is not a destructive villain equivalent to Abigail, however rather a guy who has extreme faith in the integrity of his court. He runs under the presumption that good and evil can be plainly and extremely defined, a defect of terrible irony. In his desperate hope to greatly define great and wicked, Danforth becomes the willing accomplice of those who obscure this line.

It is Reverend Parris who looks like the demagogue in this act of the play, denouncing all difficulties to the court as obstacles to Christianity and God himself. Parris is paranoid and absurd, requiring that all ninety-one people who vouch for the reputation of the 3 accused females be generated for questioning. It is Parris’ wild defense of the trials that finally causes Hale to break from the court and offer a defense of the Proctors, Coreys and Nurses. Parris’ demagoguery is positioned into even sharper relief once the true factor for the women’ admission of witchcraft is exposed. Parris understands that the trials are a scams and that the ladies are lying, yet continues to push against witchcraft to fit his ends.

Miller develops the inspirations of the proponents of the witchcraft trials in this chapter. Reverend Parris remains encouraged by suspicion and fear, while Thomas Putnam moves from an initial motivation of animosities versus others to unabashed greed. Abigail Williams, in contrast, has moved from self-preservation to a more general lust for power. However, upon the arrest of Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Hale now shuns the supernatural explanations for more concrete, legal descriptions. He redeems himself from his function as a Pontius Pilate by working as an advocate for justice. This is substantial, for it supplies concrete proof that opposition to the trials does not necessarily mean opposition to law and order.

Deputy Governor Danforth espouses the central irony of the witchcraft trials: due to the fact that there can be no concrete evidence of witchcraft, one should rely on the word of the accuser regarding whether any witchcraft has taken place at all. This essentially negates the idea of proof, taking opinion and claims to be concrete fact. It is this flaw on which Abigail Williams and the other ladies capitalize when making their allegations.

Miller develops that it takes just a simple accusation for a person to be founded guilty of witchcraft. Thomas Putnam utilizes this for financial gain, coercing his child into accusing George Jacobs so that he may purchase his land once Jacobs has been executed. Yet it is Abigail Williams who brings this particular quality into sharp relief. Abigail is extreme and remarkable; she targets the weak-willed Mary Warren, knowing that she will quickly break from her alliance with Proctor as soon as challenged. When Abigail pretends to see a yellow bird assaulting her, it is an apparent fraud that is nonetheless admissible as evidence in this law court.

The act ends by encompassing two central ironies. The first of these is that, to show his own innocence and prove himself faithful to his partner, John Proctor need to openly state his cheating. To conserve Elizabeth and secure himself from an unavoidable allegation of witchcraft, Proctor needs to take apart his name and condemn himself for the criminal offense of lechery. Regardless of Proctor’s apparent sin, this places Proctor as a martyr, sacrificing any chance for a great reputation in Salem, where public reputation is vital, in order to conserve his wife and others wrongly implicated of witchcraft.

The 2nd paradox includes the statement of Elizabeth Proctor. To conserve her spouse’s life, she needs to condemn him for lechery. Miller establishes that she is an honest lady who never lies, yet at the minute in which her sincerity is most crucial she picks the noble yet practical lie, and safeguards her other half. As Hale notes, it is a natural lie for Elizabeth Proctor to tell, yet an exceptionally ill-timed one; Elizabeth Proctor picks dishonesty at the accurate minute that her stability matters the most.

Miller continues the style of revolving accusations in this act when Mary finally breaks down and implicates Proctor of witchcraft. Afraid of her own life, Mary realizes that the only way to save herself is to accuse Proctor of pushing her into overthrowing the court. In this case the allegation consists of some truth: Proctor did require Mary Warren into affirming – and yet, in this case the function is to promote real justice rather than to obscure it.

At the end of this act, Proctor condemns himself by claiming that God is dead. When he mentions this, he speaks metaphorically, regreting a world in which the ostensibly just and moral society of Salem can be overthrown by one strong-willed girl. Once once again Proctor succumbs to melodramatics when faced with oppression. He may be proper, yet reveals his righteousness through methods that make him a simple target for the similarity Abigail and Reverend Parris.

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