The Crucible Act 2 part 1 Summary

     Act two begins in the Proctors' house. Elizabeth is cooking and cleaning when her husband, John, comes in from the farm. They discuss their children and their plans for the future. It is obvious that their relationship is strained. Elizabeth is very cold toward John. They talk about the accusations of witchcraft, and Elizabeth worries that the accused women will hang if they do not confess. She suggests that John go to the court and tell them that Abigail Williams told him that it has nothing to do with witchcraft; the girls just feared punishment for their behavior in the woods. John is reluctant to go, however, because he was alone with Abigail at the time and has no proof that she said these things to him. Elizabeth interprets his reluctance as a sign of affection for Abigail; he doesn't want to get her in trouble because he still has feelings for her. Clearly, she knows of their affair. John assures her that he no longer cares for Abigail and regrets having confessed his sins to her in the first place.

     Mary Warren, their servant, returns from Salem having served the court all day, and gives Goody Proctor a poppet, which is a doll that she sewed for her. Mary Warren is upset because thirty-nine people have been arrested for witchcraft and Goody Osburn is set to hang. They sentenced her because she would not confess, unlike Goody Good who admitted that she made a compact with Lucifer and will, therefore, only sit in jail for awhile. Mary Warren explains that these women would choke her in the courtroom or send their spirits out to people in the night. Mary Warren said that when Sarah Good was accused of mumbling under breath, she said that she was only saying her commandments, so they asked her to recite the ten commandments, and she couldn't do it. They took this memory loss as a sign that she is a witch. John is upset that Mary Warren has been wasting her time falsely accusing good women of being witches when she should be doing her chores at their home. He threatens to whip her when Mary Warren shouts that she helped save Elizabeth's life by vouching for her in court when her name came up. She swore that Elizabeth was a good person, and they dismissed the charges. Mary Warren then goes to bed.

     Elizabeth knows that it is likely Abigail who mentioned her as a witch because Abigail wants her dead. Proctor agrees to tell the court what Abigail said to him. Elizabeth also encourages him to make it clear to Abigail that he will never be with her again, and John says he will, but it still does not seem to be enough for Elizabeth. She has lost faith in her husband.

     In this part the accusations are multiplying. Some of the women would rather confess to witchcraft than hang, but others hold to their morals and refuse to admit to a lie. All of the accusations are made by Abigail and her friends who claim these women hurt them and haunt them.

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