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Transcript of The Crucible
- confesses his affair with Abigail but it backfires. Even though John is truthful, Danforth throws him in jail when his (truthful) retelling of events fails to match his wife's (untruthful) retelling.
- in a fair and brave attempt to spare her husband, she denies that John and Abigail had an affair and justifies firing Abigail by determining her work as insufficient.
- the cruel judge who cleverly outs the "truth".
- denies all charges of her having an affair with John, is allowed to go free despite being the guilty one.
- listened quietly, only spoke up once. Obeyed the orders given to him by Danforth.
- Dynamic. Becomes the voice of reason and stands up for the Proctors. Was actually correct when he contradicted Danforth.
Proctor confesses his affair with Abigail to not only the judges, but also the people of Salem.
He explains that Elizabeth fired Abigail because of the sinful discovery and that Abigail is only accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft to get rid of Elizabeth and take her place as his wife.
Danforth questions Elizabeth of this while Abigail and Proctor's backs are turned.
Elizabeth lies to Danforth in order to protect Proctor's reputation, not knowing that Proctor had already confessed his sin.
It is too late for Elizabeth to change her story. Elizabeth then gets removed from the court.
Purpose of turning the backs:
"Bring her out! And tell her not one word of what's been spoken here... Now let neither of you turn to face Goody Proctor" (874)
Elizabeth Proctor was not allowed to see Abigail or John's faces while Danforth was interrogating her because they were not allowed to influence what she was saying.
Significance of Elizabeth's lie
Elizabeth tries to glance at Proctor
... My husband is a goodly man, sir" (874)
Elizabeth did not know that John had confessed because she could not see his face. Her lie shows that she still loves her husband because she was trying to protect him.
Hale's echo of vengeance
"I may shut my conscience to it no more- private vengeance is working through this testimony" (874)
Hale is no longer using theology and is using logic to make decisions. He realizes that people are accusing one another for their own personal purposes.
- One's reputation is very important in Salem, especially since it is a small town and everyone knows one another and because they all hold Puritan beliefs. Proctor decides to forgo his reputation and decides to testify against Abigail even though it will expose his affair with her.
- John Proctor tried to tell the truth to weaken Abigail's authority, but it instead backfired against him when Abigail denied it and Elizabeth lied to protect her husband's reputation. In the end, Proctor's confession did not do much to hurt Abigail.
- Proctor also decided to confess his affair because he hated himself for having broken one of the Ten Commandments against adultery and his confession redeemed his integrity.
Themes and Motifs
Proctor sacrifices his highly respected reputation to prove that Abigail is lying. In the process, he regains his integrity by telling the truth to try to help the innocent.
"I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name-you will believe me, Mr. Danforth!" (873)
Elizabeth doesn't know it was Proctor who confessed his adultery. She condemns both her husband and the other accused, innocent people by trying to protect Proctor's reputation rather than following her own natural instinct to preserve integrity.
The Crucible Act III Confession Scene
By: Vivian, Maya, William, Rachel, and Matt
Why is Danforth temporarily persuaded by Proctor’s accusation of Abigail?
Why does Danforth put so much faith in Elizabeth’s testimony?
How is Elizabeth's sacrifice ironic?
What do you think will happen to John and Elizabeth's relationship?