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The Crucible Summary and Analysis of Act Two


The 2nd act occurs in the common space of Proctor’s house 8 days later on. John Proctor returns from a day in the fields and greets his other half, Elizabeth. They make small discuss dinner and the crops, however there is an awkwardness in between them. Elizabeth believes that he went to Salem that afternoon, but Proctor says he thought much better of it. Elizabeth tells him that Mary Warren is there today, and although Elizabeth tried to forbid her, Mary terrified her strength away. Mary is now an official in the court, formally accusing people of witchcraft, along with Abigail and the other girls. Elizabeth informs John to go to Ezekiel Cheever and inform him what Abigail stated recently – specifically that Betty’s sickness had absolutely nothing to do with witchcraft. Proctor informs her that no one will believe him, as Proctor was the only one to hear.

Elizabeth is disrupted to understand that Proctor and Abigail were alone together, however Proctor angers at her suspicion. He has tiptoed around your home for the seven months given that Abigail left, and has admitted to his sin openly, but Elizabeth remains cold. She claims she does not evaluate him. Proctor responds that her justice would freeze beer.

Mary Warren enters, and offers Elizabeth a poppet that she made in court that day. Mary reports that thirty-nine people are arrested, and Goody Osburn will hang, however not Sarah Good due to the fact that she confessed. Mary Warren declares that Goody Osburn sent her spirit out in court to choke them, and typically mumbles whenever others turn her away when she pleads. Proctor demands evidence that Goody Osburn is a witch, and prohibits Mary Warren to go to court. Mary states that it is fantastic that Proctor does not realize the value of her work, and insists that she is a court authorities. Incensed, Proctor threatens her with a whip.

Mary exposes that she conserved Elizabeth’s life today, for Elizabeth was accused in court. Proctor orders Mary to go to bed. Elizabeth understands that Abigail wants her dead. Proctor assures her that he will find Ezekiel Cheever and tell him what Abigail said, but Elizabeth thinks that more than Cheever’s assistance is required now. She informs him to go to Abigail and strongly break whatever guarantee she may think he made her. Elizabeth believes Abigail should prepare to benefit from Elizabeth’s death, for implicating a reputable member of society like her is more unsafe than accusing a drunk or indigent lady like Good or Osburn.

Mr. Hale comes to your home as Elizabeth and John argue over Abigail. He now has a quality of deference and even regret. Hale tells them that Elizabeth’s name was mentioned in court and Rebecca Nurse was charged. Proctor discovers it difficult to believe that so pious a woman might be in the service of the devil after seventy years of prayer, however Hale advises him that the Devil is crafty and strong. Hale questions Proctor on his churchgoing practices, and Proctor declares that he hopes at home and criticizes Parris for his wasteful spending routines in church. Hale likewise keeps in mind that only 2 of Proctor’s children are baptized, and asks Proctor to state the 10 Rules. He names 9 of them, however needs Elizabeth to advise him of the tenth– infidelity. Proctor states that between the two of them they understand all of the Commandments, but Hale says that no fracture in the fortress of theology can be thought about small.

Proctor says there is no witchcraft occurring, and tells Hale how Abigail said Parris found the girls sporting in the woods. Hale claims that it is nonsense, as many have confessed, however Proctor says that anybody would confess if they will be hanged for rejecting it. Hale asks if Proctor will testify to this in court, and asks if he believes in witches. Proctor responds to that he does not think that there are witches in Salem, however Elizabeth rejects any belief in witches at all. When Hale asks Elizabeth if she questions the gospel, she retorts that he need to question Abigail Williams about the gospel and not her.

Giles Corey arrives with Francis Nurse, and they inform the Proctors that their partners were removed. Rebecca has actually been charged with the supernatural murder of Ann Putnam’s babies. Hale, who is deeply troubled, declares that if Rebecca Nurse is tainted, there is nothing to stop the entire world from burning. Walcott charged Martha Corey for the report that Giles proposed about his wife reading books.

Cheever shows up to charge Elizabeth. He asks if she keeps any poppets in your home, and she states no. Cheever spies the poppet that Mary Warren made, and finds a needle in it. Abigail had actually affirmed that Elizabeth’s familiar spirit pressed a needle into her at supper that night. Mary Warren informs them how the poppet entered your house, and declares that she stuck the needle in it, however Hale concerns whether or not her memory is accurate or supernatural. Elizabeth, upon hearing that Abigail has actually charged her with murder, calls Abigail a killer who should be ripped out of the world. Proctor rips up the warrant, and asks if the accuser is constantly holy now. He states that he will not offer his spouse to revenge. Hale firmly insists that the court is simply, however Proctor calls him a Pontius Pilate. Cheever takes Elizabeth away. Proctor requires that Mary Warren come to court with him and charge murder against Abigail. She cautions Proctor that Abigail will charge him with lechery, however Proctor insists that his better half shall not crave him. Mary Warren sobs that she can not break Abigail.


While the first act happens in the “public” setting of Reverend Parris’ house, the 2nd act moves into what should be thought about the personal sphere of the Proctors’ house. The discussion in between John and Elizabeth Proctor is extremely ordinary, showing the significant tension staying in the relationship because Proctor’s affair with Abigail Williams. Elizabeth Proctor is extremely suspicious of her hubby, fretting when he comes to house late for supper and adopting a condescending tone when her husband confesses that he was for a little while alone with Abigail Williams. Miller develops Elizabeth Proctor as an ethically upright lady, respectable and dignified, yet with an air of superiority that renders her freezing and far-off. Proctor feels that Elizabeth has made her house into a repressive atmosphere, continually punishing her hubby for his wrongdoing. Still, if Elizabeth adopts a tone of moral superiority it is since she is the exceptional of her contemporaries, with a steady belief in the ability of persons to remain ethical.

Miller creates an atmosphere of guilt within the Proctor household that mirrors the similar conditions within larger Puritan society. Proctor has actually revealed contrition for his extramarital relations and asked for forgiveness, yet there is no sense of catharsis within his marital relationship nor capability for full reconciliation. The Proctor marital relationship is stagnant and stifling, as the reality of John’s infidelity remains in every discussion like a giant white elephant. Miller demonstrates this, in specific, when Proctor is unable to recall the commandment versus adultery– it is a minute of humor, but it also reflects the crisis of the Proctor marital relationship. Miller seems to suggest that, like the rest of their Puritan society, the Proctors require an outlet to expiate John’s sins and without this indicates for redemption they are committed to a continuous fascination with previous adultery.

2 significant themes emerge in the 2nd act of The Crucible. The very first of these is the line in between public and personal. The act itself moves from the intimate discussion in between couple to more public matters, however the division between these two spheres becomes odd. Even in this setting, the public conversations of the Proctors’ regret or innocence occurs within the home. More significantly, Reverend Hale and the other court authorities utilize private details for their public matters, such as details about the frequency with which they go to church and their belief in the presence of witches. The court authorities investigate all aspects of the suspects’ private lives. Under such extreme examination, these authorities have the ability to discover any information that may be might translated as proof of regret– not unlike the House Unamerican Activities Commission utilizing everything from faith and sexuality to, in the case of the Rosenbergs, a disposed of box of Jell-o as evidence of un-American habits.

The second major style of the act is the ambiguity of proof. This starts even before Hale reaches the Proctors’ house, when Elizabeth, as a betrayed wife, presumes her spouse’s reasons for getting home late. This continues with Reverend Hale’s analysis of John’s lapse of memory of one of the 10 Commandments and the evidence against Martha Corey, which deemed her a witch for checking out books. The most substantial symbol of this style in the 2nd act is Mary Warren’s poppet. Miller makes it clear to the audience that Elizabeth did not utilize the poppet as an appeal versus Abigail Williams, however its presence in her home is rather damning in the view of the court.

The poppet shows that Abigail Williams is more atrocious than earlier showed. In the first act she behaved exclusively out of self-interest. She was all set to do damage to others, but just to conserve herself. However, in this instance she intentionally frames Elizabeth Proctor out of revenge, planting the poppet as a method to engineer Elizabeth’s murder. This event even breaks the icy exterior of Elizabeth Proctor, who considers that Abigail must be “removed of the world.”

Miller creates a circumstance of bleak irony in this chapter with the arrest of Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor. These characters are the most upright in the play, yet are implicated of witchcraft by two of the most ignoble, Thomas Putnam and Abigail Williams. The dynamic of the witchcraft hysteria has actually developed a circumstance in which the accuser of witchcraft is automatically presumed holy, as Proctor notes, while even the most spiritual character may be believed of Hellish impact. In this circumstance the evil of Salem may raise their credibilities at the expenditure of the good.

An additional irony that Miller constructs in the act is in the plot structure. The Proctors and their allies can count on a bachelor to conserve themselves from Abigail Williams’ treachery. Yet this individual, Mary Warren, is the weakest and most pliable character in The Crucible. She alone has the power to stop the hysteria of the witchcraft trials, but neither the strength nor resolve to do so. Mary needs intense coercion from John Proctor to even consider admitting to the falsehood in court. However, in spite of her weakness Mary Warren is as hazardous as Abigail, for the guileless woman betrays none of Abigail’s harmful bearing and hence appears more overtly innocent. She is a pawn who may be used by the Proctors to show their innocence, but Miller foreshadows that Mary Warren might be used by Abigail to serve her own functions also.

Amongst the characters in the play, it is Reverend Hale who shows the most popular character development. While the other characters stay repaired in their specific obligations and beliefs, Hale demonstrates the devastating results of the witchcraft trials by the change in his character. When he comes back in the 3rd act he has none of his old interest. Although he clings to his belief that evidence of witchery can be discovered in Salem, Hale appears more and more tentative about the outcomes. He demonstrates a strong feeling of guilt for his actions, as revealed by his reliance on what he comprehends as indisputable proof. Like Pontius Pilate, to whom Proctor compares Hale, he wants to play just a passive function in the proceedings without any sensation of personal responsibility. Hale’s growing disillusionment foreshadows his later repudiation of the court’s actions.

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