The Crucible”

Act II Review
Questions # 1 - 4
What duty has Mary Warren been performing in Salem?
Mary Warren is “an official of the court” – she is witnessing accusations and
testifying against people.
What does Elizabeth Proctor report to her husband about the trials in Salem?
What does she urge John to do?
Elizabeth tells John that fourteen people are in jail for witchcraft and that there
is talk of hanging the accused. She wants John to go and tell Ezekiel Cheever that
Abigail told him that witchcraft has nothing to do with the chaos in Salem.
What gift does Mary Warren present to Elizabeth?
Mary Warren gives Elizabeth a poppet (small doll) that she made while in court.
What ominous revelation does Mary Warren make about Elizabeth's
reputation? How does this disclosure serve to make the quarrel between
Elizabeth and John even more heated?
Mary Warren claims that Elizabeth’s name has been “mentioned” in court.
Elizabeth is known as being outspoken and sometimes harsh. Abigail is the one
bringing Elizabeth up in court because she wants to get rid of her and be with
Questions #5 - 7
What are some of the ways in which John Hale questions Proctor and his wife
about their religious faith? How do the Proctors answer each of the
questions and allegations?
First, Hale questions why John has rarely been seen in church and John replies
that Elizabeth was sick all winter so he needed to be home. Second, Hale asks
why the Proctor’s third son is not baptized and John explains that he does not
want Rev. Parris to baptize his son because he doesn’t respect him as his
minister. Finally, Hale asks Elizabeth and John if they know the Ten
Commandments. John recites them all, except he forgets the one about adultery.
What theological argument does John Hale use to explain the causes of the
events in Salem?
Hale claims that “The Devil is alive in Salem” and that God is testing the faith of
the citizens of Salem or God is punishing the citizens for some really bad thing
that they’ve done and won’t admit.
What conflict does John Proctor face at the end of the act?
John Proctor is torn because he needs to speak out against Abigail and he knows
that if he does, she will reveal that they had an affair to everyone.
Questions #8 - 10
Explain how each of the following is an example of verbal, situational, or
dramatic irony:
• Mary's gift of a poppet to Elizabeth – situational irony because it was supposed to be a gift
but it ends up condemning Elizabeth as a witch
• The one Commandment out of ten that John Proctor can't remember – dramatic irony
because the audience knows that John and Abigail had an affair but the characters in the play
(aside from Elizabeth) do not.
• Proctor's statement about Abigail at the end of the act, "Good. Then her saintliness is done
with." – verbal irony because Abigail is the furthest thing from a saint.
Explain John Proctor's allusion as he tells Hale, "Pontius Pilate! God will not
let you wash your hands of this!"
Proctor equates John Hale to Pontius Pilate, the infamous traitor, and wants
Hale to feel guilty for not standing up and stopping Elizabeth’s arrest when he
could have vouched for her.
The end of this act hints that the most important conflict in the play, will take
place between two specific characters—a protagonist and an antagonist. Who
is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist?
John Proctor is the protagonist and Abigail Williams is the antagonist.
“Speaking Like A Puritan”
For each metaphor used in the dialogue of the play, explain
what or who is being compared to what and how the
comparison effects meaning:
Metaphor  Proctor: “a funeral marches round your heart.”
Meaning  Elizabeth’s demeanor and interaction with other
people is being compared to a funeral march which implies
that Elizabeth is cold, distant, almost like a corpse.