The Crucible
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The Crucible Arthur Miller S5/6 Int 2 Drama Study. Learning Intention. We are learning to:. Success Criteria: . I can identify aspects of theme. . Consolidate our knowledge of Act 2. Achieving this S.C. means you are on target!. The Crucible: Act 2. Summary of Act 2.

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The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

The Crucible

Arthur Miller

S5/6 Int 2

Drama Study

Learning intention
Learning Intention

We are learning to:

Success Criteria:

I can identify aspects of theme.

  • Consolidate our knowledge of Act 2

Achieving this S.C. means you are on target!

Summary of act 2
Summary of Act 2

  • The second act is set in John and Elizabeth Proctor's farmhouse just outside Salem. It begins with a scene between the husband and wife who are discussing the witchcraft situation in Salem and the increasing number of accused townspeople.

  • They have a new servant girl working for them. Mary Warren is one of Abigail's circle. She arrives from the courthouse where she has been giving testimony. She gives Elizabeth a doll that she made while waiting in the court. She is tired and goes to bed, leaving the married couple to continue their argument.

Note taking:

Update your visualisers as we discuss Act 1.

This will help you as you study the text

Summary of act 21
Summary of Act 2

  • We learn more about the tension between them over the affair that John had with Abigail Williams.

  • Elizabeth wants him to go to the court and testify against Abigail (who is the source of much of the accusation in the town). If the town knows about her affair with John they will not be inclined to believe her accusations.

  • But John refuses and there is much tension between them - Elizabeth feels that he still feels affection for Abigail and he feels that his wife has not forgiven him for his error.

Summary of act 2 cont
Summary of Act 2 cont.

  • Reverend Hale appears at their door to question John Proctor. He is suspicious of the Proctors because they do not attend church regularly. Giles Corey and Francis Nurse also arrive, seeking advice after both their wives had been arrested. If the saintly Rebecca Nurse has been arrested on the charge of witchcraft, there is a sense that Elizabeth, as an irregular church goer, is in significant danger.

  • Shortly, officials from Salem arrive and arrest Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail has accused her of witchcraft and attempted murder by using black magic and stabbing a needle into a voodoo doll. The officials find the doll that Mary gave Elizabeth, and in it is a needle. This is taken as further evidence against Elizabeth and as she is taken away John Proctor understands that this is Abigail's revenge. After the others have gone he orders Mary Warren to go to court and testify against Abigail. He vows that he will fight the proceedings, even if it means confessing his own adultery.

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

Note taking:

Update your visualisers as we discuss Act 1.

This will help you as you study the text

  • The Crucible – Visualiser


Act 2 theme of hysteria
Act 2 – Theme of Hysteria

  • The historical setting gave Miller the opportunity for the dramatically use of hysteria.

  • The general hysteria that spread through the community of Salem after the first mention of witchcraft is used to induce an atmosphere of anxiety and guilt which brings out all then superstitious fears.

  • Far more powerful, dramatically, however is the girls’ hysteria when they are possessed. Using his technique of withheld climax, Miller gives a small example of it at the end of Act 1; the reports its appearance in the court at the end of Act 2.

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

The Proctor Household

  • Eight days have passed. Things have moved on in Salem.

  • The stage directions and dialogue establish this as a domestic setting.

  • The talk is of planting, children and dinner

  • In some ways they both seem happy:

  • Elizabeth “blushing with pleasure”.

  • Proctor “Lilacs is the smell of nightfall...Massachusetts is a beauty in the spring”.


What do the following quotes suggest about the Proctor’s relationship?

Proctor “Learn charity, everlasting funeral marches round your heart”-

Judgement- Proctor says that he feels that his house has become a courtroom where he is judged.

Elizabeth replies that the judgement is in his heart.

Proctor: “Were I stone I would have cracked for shame this seven month”-

“I see now your spirit twists around the single error of my life, and I will never tear it free!”

Mary warren
Mary Warren

How has Mary Warren changed since the opening of the play?

Mary seems to have convinced herself that she is telling the truth.

“I feel a clamp around my neck...I hear a voice, a screamin' voice”

Mary has made a doll for Elizabeth

Mary stands up to Proctor

Mary says that Elizabeth was mentioned but that she saved her.

Proctor and elizabeth
Proctor and Elizabeth

Proctor is disturbed by Mary’s report of events

Elizabeth realises the seriousness: ‘She want’s me dead.’

Who wants her dead and more importantly why?

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

“there is a quality of deference, even of guilt about his manner now”

What does this stage direction tell us about Mr Hale?

Questions the Proctors about not visiting church and their son not having been baptised.

Hale: “No – no, I come of my own…your wife’s name is – mentioned in the court”

What does Miller do to show Hale’s uncertainty?

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

Proctor criticises Parris

Bitter tone: “it tells me that a minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar.”

Hale makes him recite the ten commandments- Proctor forgets the one about adultery

“Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small” Hale

Elizabeth proctor
Elizabeth Proctor

Elizabeth shows her honesty: I cannot think the Devil may own a woman’s soul

Rebecca s charged
Rebecca's charged!

It is the charging of Rebecca Nurse that makes the Proctors realise how much things have got out of hand

And which has caused doubts in Hale's mind

But he has convinced himself the court is right: “No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village”.

Accusing abigail
Accusing Abigail

Miller provides various points in the play where he suggests that things might be brought under control.

I know the children's sickness had naught to do with witchcraft.

Hale seems shocked but Proctor convinces him by his honesty and with flattery, “such a steadyminded minister as you”

Francis nurse
Francis Nurse

Tells the Proctors his wife has been arrested for murdering Goody Putnam’s babies.

Francis: “My wife is the very brick and mortar of the church”

Hale is shocked: “[…deeply troubled…]if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning…the court will send her home, I know it.”

He loses his conviction: great pain

Corey's wife has been accused of killing pigs

Ezekiel cheever
Ezekiel Cheever

Elizabeth is accused of using the doll (or poppet) to inflict harm on Abigail.

“She must be ripped out of the world.”

Proctor rips up the arrest warrant.

“Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem – vengeance is walking Salem…the crazy little children are jangling the keys of the kingdom”

Explain what Proctor means here?

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study

In contrast Elizabeth is calm and collected: “I think I must go with them. Mary, there is bread enough for the morning; you will bake in the afternoon. Help Mr Proctor as you were his daughter – you owe me that, and much more”

Hale’s doubts have grown although he struggles to confess this: “Proctor, I cannot think God be provoked so grandly by such a petty cause…such confusion strikes upon the world.”

The crucible arthur miller s5 6 int 2 drama study


Note taking:

Update your visualisers as we discuss Act 2.

This will help you as you study the text

John proctor
John Proctor

  • ‘I mean to please you Elizabeth.’

  • ‘He gets up, goes to her, kisses her. She receives it.’

  • ‘Learn charity woman. I cannot speak but I am doubted.’

  • ‘Your spirit twists around the single error in my life, and I will never tear it free.’

  • What dothese quotes show about their relationship?


  • ‘I know the children’s sickness has naught to do with witchcraft.’

  • I wonder if my story will be credited in such a court.’

  • Is the accuser always holy now?

  • We are what we always were in Salem but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!’

  • Accuses Hale: ‘Pontius Pilot! God will not let you wash your hands of this!’ And ‘You are a coward!’

Elizabeth proctor1
Elizabeth Proctor

  • ‘What keeps you so late? It’s almost dark?’

  • The towns gone wild…She speak of Abigail, and I thought she were a saint…where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel…if they scream and howl…the person’s clapped in jail for witchcraft.’

  • ‘You were alone with her?’

  • She wants me dead. I knew all week it would come to this.’

  • What do these quotes reveal about the character of Elizabeth?

Mary warren1
Mary Warren

  • How has Mary changed from Act 1?

  • ‘I must tell you, sir, I will be gone every day now. I am amazed you do not see what weighty work we do.’

  • ‘I’m an official of the court.’

  • I’ll not be ordered to bed no more, Mr Proctor.’

Mary warren2
Mary Warren

  • The following quotes show a return of Mary’s fear

  • ‘I cannot charge murder on Abigail.’

  • ‘She’ll kill me… she’ll charge lechery on you,’

  • ‘I cannot do it, they’ll turn on me.’

  • She is over and over again sobbing, ‘I cannot I cannot.’

Mr john hale
Mr John Hale

  • ‘The powers of dark are gathered in monstrous attack on this village.’

  • ‘I have. I – I have indeed.’ (It is his own suspicion, but he resists it.)

  • ‘If she is innocent, the court –’

  • (Pleading) …the Devil is alive in Salem and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!’

  • Hale is losing his conviction. Is he cautious or a coward to not speak up?

Mr john hale1
Mr John Hale

  • Coward or cautious?

  • ‘What I have heard in her favour I will not hesitate to testify in court.’

  • ‘The world goes mad and it profit you nothing that you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl.’

Old giles
Old Giles

  • ‘John...they take my wife!’ – reflects on Proctor’s respected status in the community that he comes to him for help.

  • ‘I never said my wife were a witch, Mr Hale; I only said she were reading books.’

Francis nurse1
Francis Nurse

  • ‘My wife is the very brick and mortar of the church.’

  • ‘For murder she’s charged. (Mockingly quoting the warrant) For the marvellous and supernatural murder of Goody Putman’s babies.’


  • ‘Abigail Williams charge her.’ ‘… stuck two inches into in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out… she testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit that pushed it in.’