2 In what way has Mary Warren changed and what changed her? Mary Warren has changed from a subservient household maid to a defiant, rebellious young woman. Her position and authority as a part of the Salem court system has caused this change. She feels like she no longer has to answer to Elizabeth Proctor because, if it weren't for her, Elizabeth would have been convicted of witchcraft right then and there. Therefore, she feels that Elizabeth owes her her life and is in no position to make demands.
3 How would you describe the relationship of John and Elizabeth Proctor at the beginning of this scene?John and Elizabeth Proctor seem to have a somewhat strained relationship, but their affection for each other is still clear. John tries hard to please Elizabeth, but it is extremely difficult for him due to her depression. Elizabeth clearly loves her husband, but she has a difficult time trusting him because she thinks he has been unfaithful. On top of this, his indecision is a source of frustration for her. She knows what he needs to do but she is unable to persuade him to do it as expediently as she would like.
4 What is it she wants him to do? Elizabeth wants John to go to Salem and reveal what Abigail told him about how the strange incidents have nothing to do with witchcraft. This would stop the trials and prevent the deaths of those accused. For John, the issue is not as clear-cut as Elizabeth makes it. While his relationship with Abigail is over, he is still less than exuberant about publicly debasing her. Going to the court would also mean involvement in his community, which he would prefer to avoid.
5 Why can't John prove what Abigail told him Why can't John prove what Abigail told him? Why does Elizabeth pick up on this?John can't prove what Abigail told him because he was alone with her when she said it, making him the only witness. Elizabeth picks up on this because it differs from the story John told her originally. It is understandable that John would alter the story in order to avoid hurting his wife, but alterations are more dangerous than beneficial if not used with consistency. Now he has hurt his wife twofold-- first by being alone with Abigail and second by lying about it.
6 Of what does John accuse Elizabeth? John accuses Elizabeth of judging him too harshly. He points out the fact that she, too, has faults that she should correct before she passes judgment. This belief is strengthened by his quote, "Some dream I had must have mistaken you for God that day. But you're not, you're not, and let you remember it! Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not." This is vital later in the play when Proctor specifically seeks his wife's judgment. She admits her sins, in addition to the fact that judgment is not hers to give-- it is between John and God.
7 As he is about to whip Mary Warren, John stops short As he is about to whip Mary Warren, John stops short. What was it she told him?Mary Warren tells John Proctor that the saved Elizabeth's life at the courthouse. Her name was "somewhat mentioned" (as is the style during shady court proceedings) and Mary objected, saying that she had never seen any sign of Elizabeth's witchcraft during the time she worked for her.
8 Who does Elizabeth think called out her name and why? Elizabeth thinks Abigail called out her name. Elizabeth believes that Abigail means to take her place when she is dead. This may sound like the paranoia, but it is not far from the truth. While it is not made clear at this point, it is revealed in Act II, Scene 2 that Abigail means to do exactly that, thereby justifying Elizabeth's fears.
9 What does Elizabeth want John to do now? Elizabeth wants John to go to Abigail and destroy once and for all any illusions she has that John loves her. Elizabeth feels that Abigail may be misinterpreting John's shame for passion, and this illusion causes Abigail to accuse her of witchcraft.
10 Why is he reluctant to do so? John Proctor has a number of qualms regarding his character, but one of his traits that he has no doubt about is his honesty. John Proctor sees himself as an honest man and to "break the promise," as Elizabeth puts it, seems deceitful. The fact that the "promise" is to a mendacious young woman is irrelevant-- deceit, in whatever form, is against John's nature. This is another key concept because he will later have to decide whether or not to give in to dishonesty to save his life.
11 Why has the Rev. Hale come to their house? The Rev. Hale has come to the Proctor house to inquire about the family's Christian nature. Despite Mary's statements to the contrary, Elizabeth has been accused of being a witch. Rev. Hale intends to use what he finds out in the court when it comes time for her to be tried.
12 When Hale says these are strange times, how might that have applied equally to 1952? In these "strange times," people who have been good, law-abiding citizens with little or no mark of blame upon them suddenly take on vile qualities when viewed from the eyes of their accusers. This was true in both 1692 and 1952.
13 As proof of witchcraft, Rev As proof of witchcraft, Rev. Hale points out that a number of people have already confessed to being witches. What is Proctor's response?Proctor's reasonable response is that people will confess to just about anything to save themselves from death. This has already been proven to be true in Tituba's case.
14 Who stuck the pin in Abigail's belly and why? Abigail stuck the pin in her own belly and started screaming about it. It was all part of her elaborate plan to frame Elizabeth Proctor. The same day she prompted Mary Warren to make the poppet, stick a needle in it, and give it to Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail believes that the poppet, coupled with her act in court, will be enough to convict Elizabeth to hang.
15 To what does Hale attribute the calamity that has befallen Salem? Hale attributes the calamity to someone or something in the village that drew the wrath of God. This is a logical explanation when one considers that the Bible is the basis of Salem society. The majority of Biblical catastrophes are sparked by someone or something invoking the wrath of God (e.g. the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues on Egypt, etc.) therefore it only makes sense that this disaster should follow the same trend.
16 Why does this hit home with Proctor? Rev. Hale's statement hits home with Proctor because it leads him to wonder if he may be the cause of it. He knows he has not been pure of heart, not is he a perfect man. He knows he lusted for Abigail, which in Puritan society might as well be the same thing as committing adultery-- one of the worst sins in Puritan society. In the back of his mind the thought begins to fester that perhaps his transgression brought this upon the village.
17 What does Mary say Abby will do if Proctor goes into court to denounce her? Mary says that Abby will charge Proctor with lechery if he goes to court. This would not only ruin his good name but would also leave him open to the legal punishment related to adultery.
18 What is Proctor's response? Proctor's resolution is not shaken. He is determined to bring down Abby and save his wife, whatever the cost to him. He will not allow Abigail to have her way even if it does mean his reputation will be irreparably damaged.
19 Why is Mary afraid to say anything in court? Mary is afraid to say anything in court because she knows Abby's power and recalls her threat vividly. Mary fears for her life, knowing that if Abby accuses her of witchcraft her only options will be to back down or face death.
21 Why does Giles say that he "broke charity" with his wife? Giles says that he broke charity with his wife because it was his comment that led to her arrest. He revealed to Hale that his wife's book reading hindered his prayer, and this was enough evidence to condemn her for being a witch. Had he simply kept the issue between him and his wife, her condemnation would probably not have happened.
22 How has Rev. Hale changed since we last saw him in Act 2 and John Proctor called him “Pontius Pilate”?Rev. Hale is no longer bold and confident in his search for witches. He has strong misgivings about the validity of the entire process. Now he is open, willing, and even eager to hear evidence that may prove that witchcraft is not present in Salem. Unfortunately the trials have progressed to such a level that he is powerless to stop them.
23 Why is Mary Warren's testimony critical for Hale, Proctor, Nurse and Corey? If Mary Warren can prove that the witchcraft is all Abigail's creation, it will free the wives of Proctor, Nurse, and Corey and ease Hale's conscience. At this point, she is the only person not entirely under Abigail's control who can stop the proceedings with few personal repercussions. If she succeeds, Abigail will fall from her seat of glory, the women will be pardoned, and things will be able to return to normal in Salem. If not, Abigail will retain her control, the women will eventually hang, and the madness will continue.
24 What does Mary Warren tell Governor Danforth? Mary Warren tells Governor Danforth that her former actions were all pretense and that the other girls were acting as well. This statement is in direct contradiction to all her former actions in the courtroom.
25 Why does Proctor not drop the charges against the court when he hears that his wife is pregnant and will be spared for at least a year?Proctor does not drop the charges against the court because he sees how his friends are suffering on account of their wives' condemnation. He has taken the first step into community involvement and solving his personal problems is no longer enough. Proctor knows that he holds the key-- he can no longer turn back.
26 Why does Proctor say that his wife must be pregnant if she has said so? Proctor states that his wife must be pregnant because lying is simply against her nature. This statement becomes vital later on in the act when she is interrogated in order to prove if this is the case or not.
27 What happens to the ninety-one people who signed the petition in support of the accused? The ninety-one people who signed the petition are summoned for questioning. By supporting the accused, regardless of her community standing, they are getting caught up in the web of accusations. These people who signed the petition are forced to face the unpleasant consequences of their community involvement.
28 What is the charge that Giles Corey makes against Putnam? Giles Corey charges Putnam for making his daughter cry witchery on George Jacobs. Giles feels that Putnam had the motivation for doing it because if Jacob dies, he will forfeit his property. Putnam is the only man in the community who is wealthy enough to buy that land-- a likely scenario considering his materialistic attitude revealed earlier.
29 What is Giles Corey's proof for his charge, and why will he not supply the proof to the court? Giles Corey's proof is that a friend heard Putnam mention the plan. Corey will not supply the name to the court because he already saw what happened to the ninety-one petitioners. He is noble enough to refuse to allow that fate to befall another friend.
30 Why does Danforth find it hard to believe that Abigail could be pretending and, in effect, be a murderer?Danforth finds it hard to believe that Abigail could be pretending because, if it truly is witchcraft, she would be the only one who would know about it anyway. Witchcraft is an invisible crime, with the only witnesses being the witch and the victim. Since the witch cannot be expected to incriminate herself, only the victim can provide the evidence. As far as Danforth knows, Abigail may very well be tormented by spirits, and therefore she must be believed.
31 How does the questioning of Mary Warren differ from the questioning of Abigail? Why? Mary Warren is questioned in a way that makes it clear that Danforth is very skeptical-- at best-- about her evidence. Danforth also puts Mary in a position that essentially damns her if she recants her former testimony. He reminds her that God damns all liars and that she will be sent to jail for lying now or having lied before. Therefore, the atmosphere that Danforth creates makes it extremely difficult for Mary to tell the truth as she knows it. On the contrary, Abigail is given the benefit of the doubt when she testifies. The judges have no choice-- her testimony is the basis of all the hearings. While Mary does not have to be believed, Abigail must in order to justify the incarceration of so many of the town's citizens.
32 Why can't Mary give a show of pretense when asked by the court? Mary can't give a show of pretense because the atmosphere is entirely different. When she did it in the court, all the other girls were doing the same thing and the judges were encouraging it. It was the acceptable thing to do-- not fainting and screaming would be considered improper. In the court, she was simply giving them what they wanted to see. This time, to do so would be to act against the girls-- the accepted authority in the courtroom. The judges still believe that the girls are acting truthfully and their attitudes make that clear. With her only support in the room being John Proctor, it is little wonder that Mary cannot give a show of pretense.
33 When Abigail is questioned by Danforth, how does she respond? Abigail gets extremely defensive when questioned by Danforth. She insists that she suffers greatly to fulfill her duty pointing out the Devil's people. She also threatens Danforth directly and says that the powers of Hell have the ability to turn even his wits. Then, in order to direct the negative attention elsewhere, Abigail makes another show of pretense and indicates Mary Warren is witching her.
34 In calling Abigail a whore, what charge and punishment does Proctor open himself for? Why has he made this confession?In calling Abigail a whore, John Proctor has thrown away his good name and has opened himself for charges (and corresponding punishment) of lechery, one of the worst crimes in Puritan society. He makes this confession in hopes of discrediting Abigail and stopping the proceedings. This is a major leap into the waters of community involvement for John Proctor. He has gone to the extreme of throwing away something very valuable to him-- his good reputation-- in order to save his wife and the wives of his friends. He realizes that even if the witch trials are stopped he will still be punished for lechery, but the potential benefits outweigh the risk.
35 What test is Elizabeth given, and how does she fail it? Why? Elizabeth is asked if John ever committed lechery. When she doesn't answer, she is asked if her husband is a lecher. After hesitating and probably a lot of soul searching while in jail, she responds that he isn’t. John Proctor had counted on her to say that he was because he knew she truly believed it. She did NOT know the purpose of the question, and by changing her mind, she has condemned herself, her husband, and her friends because the trials continue!
36 What causes Mary Warren to crack? Abigail's show and corresponding charges of witchcraft cause Mary Warren to crack. She realizes that Abigail was serious in her threat to kill anyone who opposes her. If Mary Warren is accused of being a witch, she will truly hang. Mary knows that Abigail can provide for her protection and freedom while John Proctor no longer has anything to offer. Therefore, she joins Abigail and the other girls once more by accusing John Proctor of witchcraft.
37 On what dramatic note does Act III end? Act III ends on the dramatic note of Proctor being accused of being a witch, and then declaring that God is dead and condemning the court. These two statements are completely against the Puritan religion and reinforce the chaos and pandemonium the trials brought to Salem.
39 AuthorityThe authority of the church is supreme and if church members don’t obey the minister, chaos will ensue, and the church will be destroyed.Reverend ParrisReverend Hale
40 AuthorityIndividual conscience is the final authority, and every church member has the right to say what he believes.John Proctor
41 Hale’s visit reveals John Proctor rarely attends church One of their children is not baptizedJohn Proctor cannot say all of his commandmentsProctor doesn’t like ParrisElizabeth and Proctor do not believe that witches are among them
42 John Proctor as the voice of reason Points out to Mary that not being able to say her commandments does not make Goody Good a witch“It’s strange work for a Christian girl to hand old women.”“It’s hard to think so pious a woman be secretly a Devil’s bitch after seventy year of such good prayer.”In response to Hale’s argument that those who have been convicted of witchcraft have confessed to it, he says, “And why not, if they must hang for denyin’ it?”Wonders if the court will believe his story when Hale doubts Elizabeth.
43 The chargesFor the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam’s babiesFor bewitching Walcott’s pigsFor sending her spirit to stick a needle in Abigail WilliamsRebecca NurseMartha CoreyElizabeth Proctor
44 “My wife is the very brick and mortar of the church” Francis Nurse was saying that his wife is the material of which Salem’s religious community is built and the substance that holds it together.
45 “what keeps you so late? It’s almost dark!” Helps to characterize Elizabeth as suspicious of John Proctor’s actions. She thinks he has been to see Abigail.
46 “Your justice would freeze beer.” Hyperboleused to characterize Elizabeth as unforgiving and cold.
47 “What victory would the devil have to win a soul already bad?” Foreshadows the eventual chargesagainst respectable citizens.
48 “There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships.”Hale defending the witch trials whenRebecca Nurse is arrested.
49 “I cannot think the Devil may own a woman’s soul when she keeps an upright way.” Represents Elizabeth Proctor’s viewabout the charges of witchcraft.
50 “I cannot sleep for dreamin’; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I’d find you comin’ through some door.”Demonstrates Abigail’s obsession withJohn Proctor.
51 “The Devil is precise; the marks of his pretense are definite as stone Ironic statement made by Hale to the people of Salem when he is about to ascertain whether or not Betty has been “touched” by the devil. He says there is specific evidence to identify the devil’s touch, but then he sets about to use ambiguous proof.
52 “We are only what we always were, but naked now “We are only what we always were, but naked now. And the wind, God’s icy wind, will blow!”People are either virtuous or they are not. It doesn’t matter whether their true nature is secret or common knowledge, God knows
53 “Pontius Pilate! God will not let you wash your hands of this!” allusionBy doing nothing to stop it, Hale is guilty of whatever happens to the accused people.
54 “I have three children—how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?” A person must set a good example not only with words but also with deeds.
55 “…A fire is burning. I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face “…A fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud—God damns our kind especially, and we will burn together!”When you know someone is committing a wrong, but you don’t do anything about it, you are more guilty than the person who committed the wrong. God will surely punish you accordingly.
56 Proctor reveals Abigail’s motivation in seeing his wife condemned. “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it.”Proctor reveals Abigail’s motivation inseeing his wife condemned.
57 Hale realizes his part in the witch trials “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up.”Hale realizes his part in the witch trialsand is trying to convince Elizabeth to compel Proctor to confess
58 “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you… and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!When Mary and Betty want to confess, Abigail threatens them to ensure that she is not exposed.
59 “You are a broken minister.” Hale has broken his covenant with God, so in Proctor’s mind, Hale no longer has any moral authority.
60 “What profit him to bleed. Shall the dust praise him “What profit him to bleed? Shall the dust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth?”John Proctor’s death is futile. Thereis no point in it for Proctor or for anyone else.
61 “He may have his goodness now, God forbid I take it from him.” Elizabeth finally realizes the goodnessthat was always within her husband, and he himself realizes it, too. She won’t take it from him by trying to persuade him to falsely confess.
62 “There be no higher judge under Heaven than Proctor is!” Elizabeth knows that Proctor judgeshimself more harshly than anyone else does.
63 “I have been thirty-two year at the bar, sir, and I should be confounded were I called upon to defend these people.”Reveals Danforth’s bias toward theaccused. He has already decided they are guilty.
64 “I come to do the Devil’s work “I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves.A paradox faced by Hale when hefinds himself faced with encouraging the accused to lie to save their lives.
65 It is difficult for the individual to win in a conflict with accepted authority Francis Nurse and Giles Corey disrupt the courtGiles Corey refuses to name his informantProctor refuses to attend church as long as Parris preaches hellfire and brimstoneGiles Corey flaunts his knowledge of court preceedings91 people are arrested for attesting to the good character of Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Martha
66 Bias of the CourtThe judges accept without question what the accusers say.The officials of the court ask leading questions which suggest the answers the court wants to hear, and if they do not get the answers they want, they try to intimidate.When someone is accused of witchcraft, the judges automatically place the burden of proof upon the accused; however, when accusations other than witchcraft are made, the burden of proof is placed upon the accuser.
67 The climax of the play occurs when Elizabeth Proctor tells the court her husband is NOT guilty of lechery.
68 Reverend Parris wishes to spare Proctor’s life because He fears for his life if such a respected man is hanged
69 Parris wants John Proctor to confess because he fears for his lifeit will cast doubt on the innocence of the others.Proctor’s name carries a lot of weight in the town.
70 John Proctor complains about Reverend Parris because demands too much compensation, such as the deed to his house.focuses on hell and damnation in his services.wastes the church money on extravagant items.
71 Giles Corey’s charge against Thomas Putnam is significant because it illustrates irony when Giles Corey is condemned for giving evidence that is hearsay, while equally invalid evidence is used to condemn persons for witchcraft.
72 Hale questions the Proctors’ Christianity because John Proctor rarely attends churchOne of their children is not baptizedJohn Proctor forgets one of the Commandments
73 John Proctor is considered the voice of reason in Act 2 because In response to Hale’s argument that those who have been convicted of witchcraft have confessed to it, he says, “And why not, if they must hang for denyin’ it?”“I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth. If the girl’s a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she’s fraud…”“It may be I have been too quick to bring the man to book, but you cannot think we ever desired the destruction of religion.”
74 What does John Proctor say “hurt his prayer”? seeing his hard earned money being spent on golden candlesticks for the church
75 What is the setting of Act 3? The Salem courtroom
76 Which incidents reveal the bias of the court? The judges accept without question what the accusers say.The officials of the court ask leading questions which suggest the answers the court wants to hear, and if they do not get the answers they want, they try to intimidate.When someone is accused of witchcraft, the judges automatically place the burden of proof upon the accused; however, when accusations other than witchcraft are made, the burden of proof is placed upon the accuser.
77 In the courtroom Danforth questions Abigail as though he doubts her, she suddenly begins hallucinating and freezing. What causes her behavior to abruptly end?Proctor grabs her by the hair of her head and jerks her to her feet, calling her a “whore.”
78 thought she was too plain for anyone to love. Elizabeth admits to her husband that she was a “cold” wife for what reason (s)?thought she was too plain for anyone to love.Didn’t know how to show her love.
79 Deputy Governor Danforth Reverend Hale Which characters support John Proctor’s decision to falsely admit to witchcraft?Reverend ParrisDeputy Governor DanforthReverend Hale
80 For what reasons does John Proctor contemplate confessing? Refusing to confess will not fool God nor spare his children hardshipsRefusing to confess will not save his soulgiving the appearance of martyrdom is pretense
81 Danforth says that he will not accept Proctor’s confession if it is a lie, but we know Danforth is not being honest becauseeven though Proctor would not name others, he was willing to take the confession as longas Proctor signed it.
82 Why does Proctor retract his confession? the officials demand that he sign his name to it.
83 Dramatic IronyHale’s statement to Proctor that “…the world goes mad, and it profit nothing you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl”” is dramatic irony because while he suggests that it is foolish to blame what has happened on the vengeance of a little girl, the audience knows that is the precise cause.
84 Parris’s statement that “I do not preach for children…It is not the children who are unmindful of their obligations toward this ministry,” is ironic becauseParris sees no reason to instruct the children about God, yet it is the young girls who are trying to commune with the devil and in an effort to conceal their misbehavior, they set in motion the events that will destroy Salem.
85 Rev. Hale’s statement, “What victory would the Devil have to win a soul already bad? It is the best the Devil wants, and who is better than a minister?” is ironic becauseHe assumes that the minister must be the best person in the village, but the facts show that Parris is not a good man.
86 What is ironic about Hale’s statement to Tituba, “You are God’s instrument put in our hands to discover the Devil’s agents among us…”Instead of saving the village from the Devil, he is persuading her to make false accusations of witchcraft against innocent people.