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Transcript of Irony
The use of words to convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning.
A technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an attitude or intention opposite to that which is actually, or obstinately stated. There are three different types of irony.
Is a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.
A marriage counselor wants to get a divorce.
Occurs when someone states one thing and means another. It can be sarcastic some of the time.
: "Oh great, my car ran out of gas."
Occurs when readers know more about a situation or character in a story than the characters do.
When you're watching a horror movie, you often see the main character walk into a house, unaware of the killer that awaits. However, the audience knows that they killer is there, but the character does not.
In Act III, Danforth says to Proctor, "We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment." Danforth says this to Proctor as he enters the courtroom trying to prove that witchcraft does not exist in Salem, and that the girls are all pretending to be under the influence of witchcraft. We know that Proctor's argument is correct, because Abigail told him that they were just playing in the woods, and some of the girls got freaked out, and took sick when Reverend Parris caught them. We think that Danforth's warning to Proctor means that the truth will finally come out, and the girls will be caught, and punished for sending the town into a witchcraft frenzy. However, the exact opposite happens, and Proctor, and others, are falsely accused for crimes they did not commit.
In Act III, when Mary is being questioned in court, Abigail claims that Mary sent her spirit upon her. When Mary pleads her to stop pretending, Abigail exclaims, "I cannot stop my mouth; it's God's work I do." This is an example of verbal irony, because although Abigail claims to have good intentions, she is lying, and falsely accusing innocent people in Salem of witchcraft. While she states she is doing God's work, she has bad intentions, like getting Elizabeth Proctor killed so she can be with John.
Irony of Puritan Theocracy
A theocracy is a type of ruling that is meant to combine the state and religious power and keep the community together.
In Salem there was a theocracy. However, in no way was the town kept together. Salem had even split into a town and village with their own Church. So the theocracy based government was pointless, because the whole town was separated and had animosity towards one another.
Irony in the Justice System
The whole point of the Justice system in Salem was to root out the people who had been bewitched or had practiced witchcraft.
The people of Salem who were actually guilty of practicing witchcraft (the girls), were considered innocent by the court, and they used this power to get revenge on other people in the town, and accuse the innocent of being condemned by the Devil. Abigail wanted Elizabeth Proctor dead, so she could be with John, and Thomas Putnam wanted his daughter Ruth to accuse those with land neighboring to his, so once they were dead he could have it for himself.
At the beginning of Act II, Elizabeth tells John to go talk to Cheever, and because they are good friends he will be able to help them out. However, this is ironic because at the end of Act II, Cheever comes to arrest Elizabeth for suspected witchcraft.
In Act III, after Proctor confesses his affair with Abigail, Judge Danforth uses Elizabeth to prove whether Proctor is telling the truth or not. Proctor swears that his wife was incapable of lying and that she had never lied in her life. Danforth swears that if it is confirmed that Abigail was kicked out for being a harlot then may God spread her mercy on her, however if she is to lie then Proctor's fate is sealed. From the description of Elizabeth's honesty it is expected that she will confirm her husband's accusation with Abigail because it is the truth, but instead she lies and defies her husband a lecher to save his already tarnished reputation by saying "I came to think he fancied her, one night I lost my wits, I think, and put her on the high road.
Throughout the play Abigail displays strong affection for John Proctor. It is revealed that Abigail drank a charm to kill Proctor's wife, Elizabeth, so she could be with him. During their confrontation in Act I of the play, Abigail says, "You loved me John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" Throughout the play, Abigail is practically able to manipulate everyone into doing what she wants them to. However, John never gives into her, because he realized what he did was wrong, and he hates himself for becoming the one thing he despises, a hypocrite. This is an example of situational irony, because throughout the play Abigail tries to persuade John to be with her, whether it's telling him that he still loves her, or accusing his wife of witchcraft. In the end, all of Abigail's attempts to persuade John to be with her end up a failure. Instead of giving up on his wife, John tries to free her, and it is ultimately the revelation act of lechery/adultery that leads to John's death, making it partially Abigail's fault.
In Act III, Danforth makes the statement "I have seen marvels in this court. I have seen people choked before my eyes by spirits; I have seen them stuck by pins and slashed by daggers." This is ironic because all the "marvels" he sees were all faked by Abigail and the girls. This shows verbal irony because Danforth did not actually see the girls being choked by spirits, or slashed by daggers. He only saw them pretending to be victims of witchcraft. Danforth also did not see Abigail get stuck with a pin. He just saw the result of her stabbing herself, in order to have Elizabeth Proctor arrested for witchcraft.
In Act III, when John Proctor tells Judge Danforth that he had committed lechery with Abigail, he explains the reason why Elizabeth kicked her out. Judge Danforth wants to see if this is true and brings in Elizabeth to ask her if that is the reason she fired Abigail. Elizabeth enters and Proctor and Abigail have their backs turned, and are not allowed to say anything. Elizabeth needs to tell Danforth that she knows about the lechery, but she does not know that Proctor has confessed so she lies to save him from being convicted of lechery.
The Salem girls fearing a spirit
Abigail drinking the potion to kill Elizabeth
Example of poppet given to Goody Proctor
Abigail yelling at Mary Warren
The Crucible Play as a whole is an example of dramatic irony. We as readers basically know that the girls, who claim to be victims of witchcraft, are pretending to be inflicted by other's spirits, for personal gain (land, revenge, & John Proctor's love). Those they accuse are innocent people, but the girls are the ones truly guilty of practicing witchcraft. However a few major characters, such as, Judge Danforth, and Judge Hathorne are not able to see through the girls actions and they believe what the girls say.
Abby and John Proctor
In Act III of the Crucible, John Proctor takes to the courtroom to free his wife after she was arrested, and jailed, because she was accused of being associated with witchcraft, and the supernatural. Proctor comes to the court with the good intention of trying to save his wife from death, and to prevent others from being falsely accused. Proctor, with the help of Mary Warren, aims to this by telling the court that Abigail was lying, and that the girls are pretending to be inflicted by witchcraft. Only a few people, like Mary (although she dies it), Elizabeth, and those on Proctor's side (Giles Corey, Francis Nurse, and partially Hale) know his intentions are truly not meant to undermine the court. Those who accuse him of trying to sabotage the hearings, associate him with the devil, leading to Proctor's death.