Mary tells them that thirty-nine people have been arrested and Sarah Osburn will hang, but not Sarah Good, who confessed. On page 199 Elizabeth says I think maybe we have been too hard with Mr. Many others, including Tituba and Rebecca Nurse, sit in jail, awaiting hanging. Reverend Parris is worried because his ten-year-old daughter Betty won't wake up. Using actual court manuscripts and primary documents, Miller brings to life the people of Salem, and the atrocities the occurred there, in this heart-wrenching play. He is a father, uncle, and the servant to the Lord. A crucible is a container made of a substance that can resist great heat ; a crucible is also defined as a severe test.
In the play, good Christians are accused of witchcraft by Abigail and many other young girls in the community. Proctor grabs her by the hair and calls her a whore, finally admitting his affair. Hale questions Mary Warren and learns that she sewed the poppet and stored the needle inside. Goody Sibber, Alice Barrow, Goody Hawkins, Goody Bibber, Goody Booth…. The protagonist has returned from seeding his farmland. The incident that sets the plot in motion at first appears straightforward: Reverend Parris catches a group of girls dancing in the forest with his Negro slave, Tituba. Putnam was trying to get a quick conviction for goody Osborne for personal resentments.
Other girls, including Ruth Putnam and also exhibited similar symptoms. In 1692 during the Salem witch trials, people also gave false witness to escape being punished. They considered material and physical wants — especially sexual desires — as the Devil's work and a threat to society. Although Mary claims that the girls are lying, she soon breaks down and tells Danforth that Proctor is in league with Satan and wants to pull down the court. Mary Warren arrives and gives Elizabeth a poppet that she made in court. Proctor rips up the warrant and tells Cheever that he will not give his wife to vengeance. Proctor believes he is damned and cannot possibly regain Elizabeth's love and respect, not to mention his own self-respect and moral uprightness.
He finally demands that Mary Warren come to court and testify against Abigail, but she sobs that she cannot. As they argue, Reverend Hale arrives, examines Betty, and questions Tituba on their activity. However, when they ask Elizabeth Proctor, she lies to protect her husband's honor and she says it's not true. Naming people becomes an effective way to get revenge. Proctor, Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse are hanged for witchcraft.
His wife fired Abigail from working for them, and their relationship ended at that point. This morning they are scheduled to hang John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey. Act four takes place several weeks later in the jail. Throughout the play, it is fear that drives the lies and deceit and ultimately cause the downfall of many. Parris and Hale try to get the people convicted of witchcraft to confess in order to save their lives, because Danforth refuses to stop or postpone the executions, saying it would not be fair to those already hanged. Abigail accuses John's wife Elizabeth and goes as far as having evidence planted in their home.
A disagreement arises about whether Parris should have called Reverend Hale to come search Salem for spirits without first holding a meeting. The young community was undergoing a period of change and uncertainty, with land rights being a particular concern. They ask if anyone else can confirm this statement, and John says that his wife knows it is true, so they call Elizabeth into the courtroom. Parris also brings up rumors that Abigail's former employer, , believes that Abby is immoral. Moments later the authorities come and take away Elizabeth.
Mary tells the court the truth, but the girls respond by pretending that Mary bewitched them shown left. Ruth is the only Putnam child to survive infancy, and Mrs. Proctor's friend Giles Corey was actually pressed to death a month after Proctor's execution; however, Miller juxtaposes his death and Proctor's. Elizabeth cannot yet trust her husband. Mercy Lewis, Abigail's friend, arrives, and they learn that Ruth, whom Mercy Lewis helps to take care of, won't wake up either. Hale attempts to convince the prisoners to confess rather than hang, but all refuse.
They find one that Mary Warren had just given to Elizabeth a few hours prior as a gift. The Puritans had no tolerance for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior and punished individuals publicly and severely if they transgressed. This was a time when paranoia, hysteria, and deceit gripped the Puritan towns of New England. However, he is willing to tarnish it by exposing his adultery to ultimately save all in town who are accused. Putnam accuses Proctor of stealing wood from land that he does not own, but Proctor defends himself, stating that he purchased the land from Francis Nurse five months ago.
Proctor says that he cannot mount the gibbet as a saint, for it would be a fraud to claim that he has never lied. Putnam is jealous of Rebecca because all of Rebecca's children are healthy, whereas Mrs. Giles says he has heard that Betty can fly. Hale then questions Tituba, and she admits that she has seen the Devil, as has Goody Good and Goody Osburn. The witch trials serve as a metaphorical crucible, which burns away the characters' outer shells to reveal their true intentions and character beneath. Putnam arrive and reveal that their daughter Ruth is also ill. Rebecca Nurse's reputation as a good Christian make some question the validity of the accusations when she is named.