Crucible Study Question

1. What happens when people criticize the court proceedings? a. People are unfairly accused when they criticize the court proceedings. For instance, when Proctor comes to the court with Mary Warren to criticize the court for his wife unfairly with a petition, Parris exclaims that” ‘they’ve come to overthrow the court’ ” (88). Proctor is merely attempting to show his evidence to protect his wife from being hung . Parris is unfairly accusing them for what they weren’t doing.

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2. What role does Parris play in this scene?

a. Parris portrays a flippant tone against the people at court during his role. Mainly, Parris plays as an informant for the judge but informs them in a biased way, which can be seen when he tells the judge to ” ‘Beware [John Proctor], You Excellency, this man is mischief” (88). His remark brings unfair bias against Proctor due to diction. Diction such as mischief makes Proctor seem like a person who would undermine the court to free his wife.

3. Why does Proctor refuse to give up his story about the girls lying even though Judge Danforth would allow Elizabeth to go free for a year?

a. Proctor carries an ambivalent tone. Incidentally, even though he first said he only was there to ” ‘free [his] wife’ “, he refuses to drop the charges against Abigail since his friend’s ” ‘wives are also accused’ “(90 & 92). Ambivalence is portrayed with diction since he was first there to free his wife but then decides to not drop charges so that he can attempt to free his friend’s wives. This shows that he undecided from saving his wife.

4. Why does Mary Warren change her testimony about Proctor and about pretending? a. Mary Warren changes her testimony from supporting Proctor to going against Proctor. For instance, as Abigail and the girls are “pretending” that Mary Warren’s spirit is attacking them, she starts out by saying that “they’re sporting”, but soon she accuses Proctor, saying that he came to ” ‘overthrow the court’ “(118 & 119). It seems that she knew that Abigail and the girls would not stop acting until she went against Proctor. Also, she changes her testimony so that she could get out and join the “stronger” side.

5. How does Elizabeth attempt to save her husband’s reputation? What was the result? a. Elizabeth attempts to protect her husband but made it worse. For instance, Proctor takes a risk, saying that he had an affair with Abigail, but when Elizabeth is called out for supporting evidence, she denies that ” ‘her husband [is] a lecher’ “(113). She was only attempting to protect her husband for being accused as a lecher but he needed her to say that he was a lecher. This resulted in Proctor losing any upper hand he had in court and losing reliability.

6. Why does Reverend Hale change his story about witchcraft? a. Reverend Hale changes his story after witnessing Abigail lie in court. For example, when Hale witnesses Mary Warren changing her story so that Proctor is in trouble, he exclaims that ” ‘[Abigail] has gone wild’ ” and eventually he ” ‘[denounces] these proceedings’ “(119). His words carry a disgusted tone directed towards Abigail. His views has changed after that trial.

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