Act I Questions

Act I Questions
What do you think of Abigail, and what would you have said
to her if you had been present at the end of Act I?
Why is Revered Parris so terrified by the events in Salem?
What possible result does he fear?
How would you interpret Abigail’s relationship to the other
girls and her relationship to Proctor?
At the end of the act, what do you think is Abigail’s motivation
to “open” herself and begin naming names?
A static character changes little or not at all during a story. A
dynamic character changes in an important way as a result of
the story’s action. Among the characters introduced in Act I,
which do you think have potential for change as the play
progresses? Briefly note why.
When someone is accused of a crime today, do people still have
a tendency to “jump on the bandwagon” with the accusers?
Explain your answer, giving an example if possible.
Act II Questions
1. At this point in the play, what would you do if you were
John Proctor?
2. Describe the relationship between John and Elizabeth
3. How do you interpret Mary Warren’s visions and
accusations? What clues does Miller give us about her
4. The protagonist of a story is the central character who
drives the action, while the antagonist is the character
who struggles against the protagonist, often with
destructive intent. Which characters seem to have
emerged as the protagonist and antagonist? Support your
answer with specific evidence.
5. Identify at least three external conflicts, and then describe
the internal conflict that John Proctor faces.
6. What insights do you gain about the Puritans that you
would not usually see in a history textbook? What
dangers are there in relying only on this type of later
literature for historical truth?
Act III Questions
Identify one phrase or expression in Act III that made a
strong impression on you. Tell why the phrase affected you.
Danforth believes that he is “living in a sharp time” in which
good and evil are not “mixed” in people, but are easily
distinguishable (which means easy to see). Do you agree
with his viewpoint? Why/why not?
3. What does Hale mean when he asks if every defense
is an attack upon the court? How has Hale changed by
the end of this act? Using your notes/text to help
explain the transformation of this dynamic character.
4. When John reveals his true relationship to Abigail, what do
you think he also reveals about his character and his
5. In sports, politics, and war, people often demonize their
opponents—that is, they portray their enemies as
incarnations of evil. Can you think of examples? Why
do you think people do this? What effect do you think
such behavior has on society as a whole?
Act IV Questions
1. Which character do you most identify with? Why? Be detailed.
2. Why does Hale counsel Elizabeth to persuade her husband, John
Proctor, to lie? In your opinion, do you think he is right to do so?
3. What motivations does Proctor have for confessing? At the same
time, why does he see his confession as deeply ironic and wrong?
4. In the play’s climax, Proctor destroys his own confession. Why
does he ultimately choose his “goodness” now?