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Hysteria in The Crucible

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Jonathan Erickson

on 16 February 2016

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Transcript of Hysteria in The Crucible

Hysteria in The Crucible
Hysteria in Act 1 Cont.
Another example of hysteria in act one continues with Abigail. She rises in front of a group of people pretending to be saved by the grace of god saying, "I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus!" (Miller 48) She does this because of the reactions others are having to the subject of witch craft. The groups emotion causes her to pretend and exaggerate her own emotions
Hysteria in Act 2
One of the many examples of Hysteria in the second act is when Elizabeth accuses John of going to Salem to see Elizabeth. Because he is scared of her judgment he loses his temper and yells at her as well as tries to place the blame on Elizabeth. "No more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion." (Miller 55)
Hysteria in Act 2 Cont.
Because of Proctor's fear of losing his wife, as well as that Hale is not helping him save his wife, John get very angry and has his emotions affected by the crowd around him as well as his wife being accused of witch craft. "Pontius Pilate! God will not let you wash your hands of this!" (Miller 77)
Hysteria is the cause for the growth in the conflict in Salem and causes it to affect the whole town.
In Act One, Abigail's fear of having her name ruined causes her to pretend to know who in the town are witches which she then proceeds to make false accusations.
"My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar"(Miller 12)
Hysteria in Act 1
Hysteria- Exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people.
Hysteria in Act 3 Cont.
Hysteria in Act 3
In act three, Paris fears that John Proctor will disprove Abigail's accusations which would cause his and Abigail's image to be poor within the town. So he accuses John of of attempting to over throw the court to attempt to diminish his credibility. "They've come to overthrow the court, sir!" (Miller 88)
When judge Danforth questions Francis Nurse about the petition and says to bring in the people that had signed the petition. This causes Nurse to fear for what he has caused his friends and fellow townspeople. "I have brought trouble on these people; I have-" (Miller 94)
Hysteria in Act 4
Hysteria in Act 4 Cont.
In Act four, John refuses to sign a paper for his confession of the fear of his name being diminished. He asks the judges to let his word be enough because it is all he has. The judges say that for his confession to be taken his name has to be put on the front of the church. He screams at them, "You are the high court, your word is good enough! Tell them I confessed myself; say Proctor broke his knees and wept like a woman; say what you will, but my name cannot-"(Miller 143) This is because of his fear of his name being ruined.
Right before the curtain falls in the play, Hale pleads with Elizabeth Proctor to try to get her husband to go through with the confession because he doesn't want to see Proctor put to death for something Hale knows John did not do. "Woman, plead with him! He his helper! What profit him to bleed? Shall the dust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth?" (Miller 145) This action is caused by Hale not wanting even more innocent blood on his hands which causes his exaggerated emotional response to yet another hanging.
In the Crucible, Hysteria plays a major part in both causing the plot to move forward and in every interaction between characters. Each character is so influenced by fear and what others will think of them that their actions are exaggerated and based on what is happening in the core group of characters. Which is exactly the definition of Hysteria.
Jonathan Erickson
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