Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Act II Study Guide p. 1047 John Proctor

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Act II
Study Guide
p. 1047
John Proctor tells his wife that she should bring some flowers into the house, for
“It’s winter in [the house] yet.” What could he mean by that?
Literally, there are no signs to indicate that it is spring outside, but figuratively the
relationship between John and Elizabeth is still cold ever since the affair between
John and Abigail was exposed.
p. 1051
Where has the Proctors’ servant Mary Warren been all day?
She’s been in Salem at court for the witchcraft trials.
What shocking information does Mary Warren share with the Proctors? What does
this mean for the town of Salem?
Goody Osburn will hang for being found guilty of witchcraft; Sarah Good confessed
to witchcraft. Thrity-nine people are now imprisoned for being accused of
witchcraft. This means that the witch hunt is gaining strength and speed and is
spreading like wildfire.
Why does Hale come to the Proctor house?
He is looking into accusations against Elizabeth.
How does Hale seem to feel about his own judgment and the court’s? Explain.
Hale feels uncertain about his own judgment and the court’s against Elizabeth. He
believes that that Proctors are innocent but that the court is doing God’s work.
What questions does Hale ask the Proctors in order to test their virtue?
Hale questions the Proctors about their church attendance and on their knowledge
of the Ten Commandments.
Why might Proctor have previously hesitated to tell the members of the court what
Abigail told him about witchcraft?
His adultery would be revealed.
What does this hesitation reveal about his character?
His moral superiority is a façade.
How does John Proctor’s behavior compare with that of his wife? Which character
behaves more wisely?
John knows his opinions may get his family in trouble, while Elizabeth bravely tells
the truth. It could be said that John behaves more wisely because he is cautious, but
Elizabeth behaves wisely too because she is honest.
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What does the court accept as evidence that someone is a witch?
The girls’ accusations are the only evidence accepted that someone is a witch.
Which characters seem to consider this evidence valid, and which do not?
Marry Warren, Hale and Cheever think this evidence is valid; John, Elizabeth, Giles
Corey and Francis Nurse do not think it’s valid.
What do you think accounts for their differences of opinions?
Those easily led or who have something to gain by another being found guilty of
witchcraft are the ones who believe the evidence is valid. Those who remain rational
think the evidence is not valid.
Analyze how events in the town of Salem have spiraled out of control between Acts I
and II.
Abigail and her friends are manipulating public and court opinion for revenge.