The Crucible, Arthur Miller, guilt, John Proctor, Reverend Samuel Parris, Putnam, Abigail, nurse family, love, irony, judicial system
This document is a synopsis of the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, in which we can first read of presentation each character, followed by an act-by-act summary.
John Proctor is a serious man who keeps all of his thoughts private. He protects his position of power in the community but sees threats coming his way as his daughters were participating in singing and dancing around a fire with Tituba. Allegations of witchcraft can be held against John and his daughters, as dancing around a fire whilst chanting songs can be seen as a sign of witchcraft.
Reverend Samuel Parris cares very deeply about his reputation. Parris only worked in the church for 3 years, and this is seen as a very minimal time. Parris sows the seed of hysteria. He dreams of being the leader ruling over the Massachusetts bay economy in 1692. Parris leads by example. He follows the bible in his everyday life and judges his thoughts, actions, and congregations accordingly.
[...] Resents the accusation of his wife and other respectable women in the community. He knows it's all a lie because Abigail confessed to him that it was. Frustrated with the court that they let it get this far - innocent people have been hanged. Hale asks Proctor to state his ten commandments and he ends up saying 9 of them but is unable to state the one about committing adultery. Hale is suspicious of Proctor because he is rarely at church - because he lacks respect for Parris - and Proctor won't let Parris baptise him as he sees `no light of God in him. [...]
[...] Rebecca speaks the truth, and only the truth and people can see this as a threat, and they can use it to target her. Act-by-act summary Act 1 Parris saw Abigail, Betty and the other girls dancing in the forest around a fire. He heard Tituba chanting inaudible words whilst throwing her hands up and down over the fire. He thinks he saw someone running around naked and he also saw a pot sitting there. All the girls admit to dancing around the fire. Betty had fainted, but the girls blamed it on her getting a fright from Parris. [...]
[...] She replies to john with a cold tone as she is reminded of the affair. Stage directions state a sense that a `sense of their separation arises'. Words such as wintery and coldly describer Elizabeth's responses. Abigail saw john privately telling him that there was no witchcraft involved. He tells Elizabeth this and she tells John that he must go to court and tell them that Abigail is a fraud. The accusations and hysteria have gained momentum as 14 people are in jail and 4 judges have been sent from Boston. [...]
[...] Danforth is compelled to believe the girls because if he doesn't accept their version of the truth, then everything (court proceedings, hysteria, hangings, and his authority) is proven to be false, which will affect his power and reputation. Motive (Abigail): wants John all to herself. Victim: Elizabeth proctor Mrs Putnam wants revenge on Rebecca Nurse. She is jealous that Rebecca has many children and grandchildren, whilst all Mrs Putnam's babies have died. Elizabeth lies to save his reputation. John always says that Elizabeth would never lie. [...]
[...] The evidence that the court is using to accuse people is taken from children. Children were believed in Salem, to be pure and never lied, therefore the court takes their word for everything. He needs to admit to the court that he has had an affair with Abigail to prove that the situation with Betty has nothing to do with witchcraft. His reputation and honour will therefore be tainted for innocent people to stop being accused. Elizabeth gets accused while trying to protect him which brings him agony. [...]
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