English - Act two summary
Act two summary
This act is set in John Proctor's house and begins with a private
conversation between Proctor and his wife. The distance between the two on
stage is symbolic of the rift between them. The actions and dialogue of
both characters reveal their attempt to restore their relationship,
however, Proctor's guilt is not easily abated, "THE MAGISTRATE SITS IN YOUR
HEART THAT JUDGES YOU". Elizabeth, who the audience meets for the first
time in this act, attempts to persuade Proctor to go to Salem and expose
Abigail as a fraud. Proctor's reluctance to do so causes an argument and
the tension between the couple increases.
Mary Warren enters and recounts the proceedings of the court. Proctor and
Elizabeth are stunned to hear of so many women being charged with
witchcraft. When Mary Warren reveals that Elizabeth is charged the issue is
brought to a head and Elizabeth again applies pressure on John to go to
town an denounce Abigail as whore. Again, an argument between the couple
ensues but this time it is interrupted by the arrival of Hale.
Hale questions the Proctor's about their religion, trying ascertain an
understanding of their faith. When Cheever comes to arrest Elizabeth on the
charge of attempting murder Abigail Williams, Proctor becomes obviously
distraught. He rips the warrant for her arrest and promises to set things
right and bring her home. Act Two ends with Proctor violently struggling
with Mary Warren, telling her she will go with to the court and tell the
truth. Proctor believes he is to blame for what has happened and his
anguish is clearly evident.
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