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The Crucible Plot Diagram
Transcript of The Crucible Plot Diagram
Mary accuses John Proctor of compacting with the devil. Where the loose ends are tied up There is a final confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist, where one or the other decisively wins.
The resolution is the story of that confrontation, of what leads up to it, of why it happens the way it happens, what it means, and what its long-term consequences are. Plot Diagram Characters Background Info The Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 John Proctor Abigail Williams Rev. Parris Elizabeth Proctor The Putnams Rev. Hale Ruth Putnam Betty Parris Mary Warren Giles Corey Tituba Abigail and Proctor have an affair. Elizabeth Proctor discovers the affair and fires Abigail. Unvoiced resentment builds up over time among the citizens of Salem. The Puritans are religious fanatics. Rev. Parris discovers the girls dancing in the forest as Tituba chants over a cauldron. Betty and other girls fall ill. Reverend Parris, Abigail Williams, and Tituba hover over the unconscious Betty. Susanna Wolcott arrives with news: the doctor suspects Betty’s
sickness is supernatural. Parris reveals he’s asked Reverend Hale to come investigate. Parris questions Abigail about whether she and the other girls were conjuring spirits in the forest. He says he needs to know to defend himself against his enemies in the town. Abigail admits the girls danced, but denies witchcraft. Parris asks why the Proctors dismissed her. Abigail says it is because she refused to act like a slave. The Putnams reveal Tituba was conjuring the dead to find out why Mrs. Putnam’s babies keep dying in infancy. The Putnams and are now convinced that there is a witch in the town since they’re own daughter, Ruth, has also fallen ill. Abigail admits that Ruth and Tituba conjured spirits, but says she wasn’t involved. Parris fears for his job. Putnam advises Parris to declare he’s discovered witchcraft in the town before his enemies do. They go downstairs to face the growing crowd. Abigail, Mercy Lewis, and Mary Warren try to get their story straight. Betty wakes and says that Abigail drank blood as a curse to kill Elizabeth
Proctor. Abigail threatens to kill anyone who tells. Abigail tells Proctor there was no witchcraft. She says he still loves her. Proctor admits he cares for Abigail, but says the affair is over, angering her. Betty wails when a hymn is sung. The Putnams are further convinced there’s witchcraft afoot, but Rebecca Nurse says it is just children being children. A dispute about whether Parris should have asked Reverend Hale to come erupts into an argument about town politics. Hale questions Abigail and begins to unravel her lies. Abigail blames claims that Tituba sometimes “sends out her spirit” and possesses her. Tituba breaks under the combination Hale’s questioning and Parris’ threats and names witches. Abigail and Betty join in. Proctor learns from Elizabeth that the court is trying “witches.” Elizabeth urges Proctor to expose that Abigail told him it was just mischief, not witchcraft. Proctor resists, and it becomes clear that he was alone with Abigail at the time. Proctor and Elizabeth argue. Mary returns from court. She gives Elizabeth a poppet and reveals that 39 people have been charged with witchcraft, and some of the charged women have even confessed, thereby saving themselves from hanging. Mary reveals that Elizabeth also has been accused of being a witch. Proctor and Elizabeth know that Abigail is behind the accusation. Proctor agrees to speak to Abigail, but Hale arrives to investigate the “Christian character” of the Proctor household. Proctor tells Hale what Abigail had said about it being just mischief. Hale is troubled, but points out that there have been confessions. Proctor counters that people confessed only to save their lives. Francis Nurse and Giles Corey arrive: their wives have been arrested as witches. The marshal comes for Elizabeth. He sees the poppet and finds a needle in its belly, and says that Abigail fell ill with abdominal pain that evening. Mary says that she gave Elizabeth the poppet, but to no avail. Proctor rips up the warrant. Proctor commands Mary to testify in Elizabeth’s defense. Mary is terrified. Francis Nurse and Giles Corey interrupt the trials to present evidence to Hathorne and Danforth that they think will prove the innocence of their wives. Nurse presents a petition of landowners attesting to the goodness of their wives and Elizabeth. Parris declares this an attack on the court. Danforth says all these
landowners must be questioned. Corey provides a deposition from a witness who heard Thomas Putnam say that he had his daughter charge a man with witchcraft in order to get his land. Corey
refuses to provide the witness’s name, though, for fear the man will be treated like the signers of the petition. Corey is arrested for contempt of court. Proctor brings Mary forward. She says that neither she nor any of the other girls saw spirits. Danforth brings out the other girls to face Mary. Abigail says that Mary is lying, but, under pressure from Proctor, Parris is forced to admit that Abigail and the other girls were dancing in the forest. Hathorne tells Mary to fake seeing spirits. She can’t. Abigail and the girls pretend Mary is attacking them. The high point of the conflict The turning point of the story, where the main character makes the single big decision that defines the outcome of their story and who they are as a person It is often the time of greatest overall tension in the play, because it is the phase in which everything goes most wrong.
In this phase, the villain has the upper hand. It seems that evil will triumph. The protagonist has never been further from accomplishing the goal. The protagonist must decide between good and evil, and this decision may not be immediately clear to the audience. Danforth demands that Proctor confess.
Proctor says that God is dead.
Hale quits the court. Parris reveals to Danforth that Abigail robbed him and ran off, and fears it is because a nearby town has revolted against the witch trials. He begs that the hangings of Proctor and Rebecca Nurse, schedule for that day, be put off. Danforth refuses to stop the executions. Hale demands pardons for the people who have been convicted. Danforth responds that pardons would make the “voice of God’s law” look weak. Hale begs the pregnant Elizabeth to get Proctor to lie and confess in order to save his own life. Elizabeth agrees to speak with him. Proctor sees Elizabeth, and learns that Corey has been killed by being pressed with stones. He asks if he should lie to save himself. She says he will be a good man regardless and that only he can decide. He decides to confess, though he knows it’s wrong. Proctor signs a confession, but can’t bring himself to hand it over, and rips it up. He is taken to the gallows.
Parris and Hale beg Elizabeth to speak to Proctor. She refuses, saying he has his “goodness” back.