Act 2 of The Crucible takes us to the Proctor family members, wbelow we learn simply how crazy things have acquired in Salem after the initial flood of accusations. We"ll likewise discover out the level to which John Proctor"s relationship with Elizabeth has actually suffered after his affair. By the end of Act 2, personalities who were thneed to be beyond reproach will certainly find themselves in mortal danger as a result of unchecked hysteria.

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I"ll carry out two various summaries. The first is a brief summary intfinished for quick testimonial of the plot, and the second is a lengthy summary (the "oops I didn"t read it" summary) for those of you that want even more specific details on exactly what taken place, consisting of smaller sized side conversations and minor plot points.

The Crucible Act 2 Synopsis — Short Version

John and Elizabeth discuss the trials in Salem, and they both realize points are gaining out of hand (though John still believes the court would certainly never actually hang anyone). Elizabeth tells John he hregarding go into tvery own and also increate them that Abigail is lying. John"s hesitance leads to an dispute rooted in his affair and the absence of trust that proceeds to pervade their marriage.

Mary Warren, who visited Salem to testify versus the Proctors" wishes, returns to the residence and also offers Elizabeth a poppet (doll) she made in court. Mary reveals that Elizabeth was accprovided in court, but she spoke up in her defense. It"s clear that Abigail is accmaking use of Elizabeth bereason she hopes to take her location as John Proctor"s wife. This leads to an additional debate wbelow Elizabeth urges John to tell Abigail that there"s absolutely no opportunity of them ever being together.

Hale arrives and also concerns the Proctors about their religious devotion based upon the accusations levied against Elizabeth. John tells him that the girls are frauds, and Hale actually starts to doubt the validity of the accusers" clintends. Giles Corey and also Francis Nurse come to the residence in distress and anxiety, revealing that both of their wives have been arrested for witchcraft. Then, Ezekiel Cheever before and Marshal Herrick arrive with a warrant for Elizabeth"s arrest. They find the doll that Mary offered her and notification that it has a needle stuck in it. This matches up via the "attack" on Abigail allegedly perpetrated by Elizabeth"s heart.

Proctor gets Mary to tell the fact about the doll. She says that she made it in court and also stuck the needle in herself with Abigail sitting right beside her. However, the authorities are not encouraged by this story. Proctor tears up the arremainder warrant in frustration, but Elizabeth agrees to go peacefully.

When everyone else has actually left, Proctor tells Mary that she need to testify on Elizabeth"s behalf in court. Mary is terrified to do this bereason she knows that Abigail will revolve the rest of the court against her. Proctor begins to feel a sort of relief because he senses that he and all the various other hypocrites are ultimately being punished for their sins.

Judgment, both inner and exterior, is a constant throughout The Crucible.

The Crucible Act 2 Rundown —"Oops, I Didn"t Read It" Version

Act 2 takes area at the Proctor family members eight days after Act 1. Elizabeth Proctor serves John dinner, and also they chat around his day. There"s some tension in between them bereason of the lingering results of John"s affair through Abigail. Elizabeth claims that Mary Warren visited Salem that day, and also John is angry bereason he forbid her to go. Elizabeth clintends she tried to sheight her, however Mary insisted on participating in the court proceedings.

Elizabeth then reveals the complete level of the case in Salem to John. Four judges have been summoned from Boston to preside over the trials, and fourteen world are jailed on accusations of witchcraft. Abigail has been exercising a good deal of power in court and also proceeds to feign being assaulted by witches. Elizabeth says John should go to Salem to tell the court that Abigail is a fraud. He has actually some appointments bereason it will be his word against hers. She thinks he wouldn"t be so hesitant to do this if he had to discredit a various girl. John gets angry that Elizabeth still will not totally trust him approximately Abigail, and also he feels liks he"s constantly being judged. Elizabeth points out that it"s really his inner guilt about the affair that"s making him feel judged.

At this suggest, Mary arrives earlier from Salem showing up drained from the day"s proceedings. She offers Elizabeth a poppet (a rag doll, essentially) that she made in court. Mary tells the Proctors that tright here are currently 39 people arrested. She breaks dvery own and starts crying. Mary reveals that Goody Osburn is set to hang, but Sarah Good confessed, so she will certainly live. Mary is genuinely encouraged that Sarah Good tried to kill her by sfinishing out her heart. She then claims to remember various other times that she was bewitched by Sarah Good. Sarah Good was eventually condemned after being unable to remention her commandments.

Mary insists on going back to court the following day because she feels that she"s doing God"s occupational. John Proctor tries to whip Mary for her insolence, yet Mary interjects that she conserved Elizabeth"s life by deffinishing her versus accusations in court. Proctor dismisses Mary. After this, Elizabeth is pretty sure that Abigail wants her dead. She thinks Abigail is trying to take her area as Proctor"s wife and also will certainly proceed to accusage her until she is arrested. Proctor tries to allay these suspicions even though he knows that she"s most likely appropriate. Elizabeth insists that John go to Abigail and tell her clearly that tbelow is no possibility of them ever before being together in the future. John gets angry (again) that Elizabeth presumes that he"s still attached to Abigail and also is leading her on in some method.

At this suggest, Reverfinish Hale arrives at the home to sheight through the Proctors about the accusations made versus Elizabeth. He has actually simply come from questioning Rebecca Nurse, that was accoffered despite her solid reputation in tvery own. Hale asks why John doesn"t go to church frequently, and he says it"s bereason his wife has been sick and also he dislikes Parris" displays of materialism. Hale asks Proctor to say his commandments, and, ironically, the only one he forgets is adultery. Hale is not satisfied.

Elizabeth insists that John tell Hale that the girls are faking. After hearing what Proctor hregarding say, Hale starts to doubt the accusers too. Still, Proctor balks at testifying in court bereason the atmosphere sounds so hysterical ("I fchange nopoint, however I might wonder if my story will certainly be attributed in such a court." pg. 65). Elizabeth claims she actually does not believe in witches at all, and also Hale is taken aearlier bereason witches are especially stated in the Bible.

Giles Corey enters the home accompanied by Francis Nurse. They disclose to Hale and also the Proctors that their wives have actually been arrested and also sent out to jail. Rebecca Nurse is suspected of murdering Ann Putnam"s babies. Hale says if Rebecca Nurse has fallen under the regulate of the Devil, no one is safe. Corey currently realizes he made a mistake by voicing his suspicions about his wife"s analysis habits in the previous act. The man that accoffered Martha Corey bought a pig from her that passed away quickly after. He was bitter that Martha wouldn"t refund him the money, so to get revenge he accprovided her of casting spells with her publications.

Ezekiel Cheever and also Marshal Herrick then arrive at the house. They have actually a warrant for Elizabeth Proctor"s arrest, and they confirm that she was accsupplied by Abigail. Cheever orders Elizabeth to hand over any dolls she has in the house. Elizabeth is puzzled and also says she hasn"t had dolls considering that she was a kid. She forgained around the one Mary provided her earlier, which Cheever sees and also examines. John Proctor tells Elizabeth to go gain Mary so she deserve to confirm that the doll was a gift. Cheever finds a needle in the doll, which he takes as proof of Elizabeth"s guilt. Abigail dropped on the floor screaming at dinner and also pulled a needle out of her stomach, claiming that Elizabeth"s familiar soul stabbed her.

Mary and Elizabeth rerotate, and Mary admits she made the doll in court while Abigail was sitting next to her. John Proctor thinks that this renders it pretty clear that Abigail is lying, however it"s not enough for Hale to discount the "proof." Hale alerts Mary that she"s making major accusations against Abigail.

Proctor is fed up with the court"s blind trust in Abigail and the various other acccustomers. He rips up the arremainder warrant and also tells everyone to leave. Elizabeth sees that tright here is no method out of the present case and also agrees to go via the marshal to avoid a scene. John promises to carry her back soon and calls Hale a coward for being too passive about the instance. Hale counsels patience and also factor so that they have the right to acquire to the bottom of what"s really happening.

Everyone exits the home except Mary and also John Proctor. Proctor tells Mary she have to testify in court about the real story behind the doll. She is involved about Abigail"s potential reactivity. Mary knows around the affair, and also she thinks Abigail will certainly come clean around it and ruin Proctor"s reputation if Mary tries to discrmodify her. Mary additionally believes that the court will rotate against her if she tells the reality. Proctor is adamant that Elizabeth will not die for his mistakes via Abigail and also starts obtaining aggressive through Mary to streatment her into telling the fact. Mary continues to insist that she can"t testify bereason of the potential after-effects.

Does your targain constantly get stabbed with the very same implement that you used to poke the voodoo doll? And does that intend you have the right to just usage voodoo dolls to provide world you hate superficial puncture wounds? Luckily for Abigail, no one is in the appropriate state of mind to treatment around just how bit feeling every one of this renders.

The Crucible Act 2 Quotes

This area lists the many important quotes in Act 2. I"ve written brief explanations for each that fancy on their significance.

"I have actually not moved from tright here to tbelow without I think to please you, and also still an everlasting funeral marcs round your heart. I cannot stop however I am questioned, every moment judged for lies, as though I come right into a court when I come into this house!" (John Proctor pg. 52)

In this quote, John Proctor criticizes his wife for continuing to mistrust him after he ended things via Abigail. He clintends that "an everlasting funeral marcs round heart," definition that she insists on continuing to mourn for the damages the affair did to their partnership quite than enabling him to repair it. He feels that Elizabeth is constantly suspicious of him now, to the point where he can not perform anything without being judged. In fact, Elizabeth doesn"t show many kind of indications of being overly judgpsychological of John (she"s actually doing pretty well considering he simply had an affair with a teenager), and many of these concerns are a estimate of his own guilt.

"I carry out not judge you. The magistprice sits in your heart that judges you." (Elizabeth Proctor pg. 52)

The real court in Salem is mirrored by a metaphorical court within the mind of John Proctor. Here, Elizabeth points out that John is his very own harshest judge. If anyone is judging him, it"s a mini-John Proctor through a judge wig banging a tiny gavel appropriate on his heart strings. Since he"s unable to forgive himself for the affair, he projects his guilt onto her also as soon as she"s not acting especially judgmental.

"I am amazed you do not view what weighty work-related we do." (Mary Warren pg. 56)

Mary uses "weighty" as a synonym for "important" or "vital." She feels that she"s doing God"s work, and she is offered a feeling of purpose and also duty through her participation in the trials. In a feeling, the trials really are "weighty work" because they overhaul the whole area. They administer an outlet for the repressed resentments and also jealousies that were simmering under the surface.

"Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in the fortress might be accounted tiny." (Reverend Hale pg. 64)

This quote from Hale is a testament to the power of the church in this community and the perception of religious beliefs at the time. Tbelow is an "either you"re through us or you"re against us" mentality that urges persecution of anyone that deviates also slightly from welcomed Christian behavior. One misstep can derail a reputation entirely, so everyone is eager to condevelop out of comes to for self-preservation.

"There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we have to be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have actually viewed also many type of frightful proofs in court - the Devil is alive in Salem, and also we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!" (Reverfinish Hale pg. 68)

This quote from Hale sums up the atmosphere of hysteria that has emerged in Salem. Everyone is afraid to question any type of of the accindividuals because that could intend falling for the Devil"s tricks. They feel that the consequences of doubting these accusations can be more dire than the danger of having some innocent civilization recorded up in the mix. Reputation has actually been conquered by paranoia.

Both Parris and also Hale will certainly mention various theological examples over the course of the play wbelow someone that was when thneed to be virtuous turned out to be evil. In this case, it"s "Man, remember, until an hour before the Devil dropped, God thought him beautiful in Heaven" (Reverfinish Hale pg. 68). In the next act, Parris will certainly say "You should sucount know that Cain were an upbest male, and also yet he did kill Abel" (Reverend Parris pg. 85). On some occasions in the Holy bible, civilization that were thought to be great turned out to be negative. This shaky precedent is extrapolated to the existing situation and also offers the church leaders factor to mistrust even the many well-understood citizens of Salem.

"Why carry out you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God"s fingers? I"ll tell you what"s walking Salem - vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, however now the bit crazy youngsters are jangling the tricks of the kingdom, and also widespread vengeance writes the law!" (John Proctor pg. 73)

John is extremely frustrated bereason the accindividuals are all taken at their word, and the accoffered are denied a fair chance to protect themselves. He points out that many kind of of these accusations are plainly moved by revenge. Though that desire for vengeance was constantly tbelow within the world of Salem, it has just currently begun to affect judicial procedures and societal power structures in dramatic means. "The little bit crazy children" are the acccustomers, mainly teenage girls that formerly had actually no power in Salem. They are currently "jangling the tricks of the kingdom," or testing their capacity to provoke widespreview chaos that favors their very own agendas.

"Now Hell and also heaven grapple on our backs, and also all our old pretense is ripped ameans - make your peace! Peace. It is a providence, and no good change; we are just what we constantly were, however naked now." (John Proctor pg. 76)

This an aside John provides to himself at the end of Act 2. He views the witch trials as an unveiling of the true nature of the human being of Salem. No one has actually suddenly end up being vengeful, paranoid, and also unsimply - they were constantly choose this underneath a shallow layer of decorum. Proctor has additionally been burdened by the secret of his affair via Abigail and also the guilt he has about it. He sees himself as an immoral perkid, and also he is relieved in a details sense that he"s about to be exposed for the hypocrite he is so his sins will certainly speak eating him up inside.

John was referring to his 2 cats, Heaven and Hell. Metaphorical pet names were all the rage in 17th century New England.

The Crucible Act 2 Thematic Analysis

This is a brief evaluation of the a lot of widespread themes in Act 2. I"ll come out via a more thorough thematic evaluation for the totality play exceptionally soon!


This act sees among the many blatant examples of irony in the play. When John is asked to recite the ten commandments, the just one he forgets is the one most applicable to him, adultery ("Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor"s wife."). This reflects just how tough John is trying to repress his guilt. He wishes to leave the affair in the past and pretend it never before taken place, yet he can"t ignore the affect it has actually had on his partnership with Elizabeth, his feeling of self-worth, and also Abigail"s psyche.


Act II is as soon as the complete extent of the hysteria in Salem becomes noticeable. Mary says that tbelow are now not 14 yet 39 world that have been thrown in jail on suspicion of witchcraft. The hysteria has been heightened by several confessions which seem to confirm the visibility of an evil witchy plot. People are told they will certainly be executed if they refuse to confess, so obviously false confessions abound. The authorities and citizens of the town are so scared of the opportunity that these coerced confessions can be the reality that they disregard any kind of logical objections to the proceedings ("I have watched too many frightful proofs in court - the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accmaking use of finger points!" Hale pg. 68). They rather proceed to push for more confessions, which are then counted as "evidence" of a grand Satanic plot. Anyone that doubts the visibility of this plot is lugged under suspicion.

When the poppet is discovered in Elizabeth"s possession, it is taken as concrete proof that she"s associated in witchcraft. Elizabeth"s side of the story instantly becomes virtually irrelevant because Abigail"s testimony is much scarier and also more dramatic: "She sat to dinner in Reverfinish Parris"s residence tonight, and without word nor warnin" she drops to the floor. Like a struck beastern, he states, and also screamed a scream that a bull would certainly weep to hear. And he goes to conserve her, and also, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out." (Cheever before pg. 71). The concept that a witch"s familiar soul could be going around stabbing human being willy-nilly is as well horrifying for people who genuinely think in witchcraft to offer Elizabeth the benefit of the doubt. Everyone severely underestimates Abigail"s ambition and also deviousness.


Goody Good, an old beggar woman, is one of the initially to be accsupplied bereason she is already held in such low regard. It"s basic for respectable citizens to accept that she"s in league with the Devil bereason she is an "other" in Salem, just favor Tituba. Elizabeth knows that Abigail has it in for her bereason there"s no other reason she would take the threat of accutilizing a farmer"s wife via a solid reputation. Elizabeth is an upstanding member of the area, whereas various other women who have been accoffered were already at the bottom of the totem pole.

Elizabeth knows that her high status still affords her some credibility, yet this is the allude at which the value of reputation in Salem starts to butt heads via the power of hysteria and are afraid to sway people"s opinions (and vengeance to dictate their actions). In this act it is additionally revealed that Rebecca Nurse has been accprovided, a woman whose character was formerly thshould be unimpeachable. This is taken as proof that points are really obtaining out of regulate ("if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing"s left to soptimal the entirety green civilization from burning." Hale pg. 67) , but still world hesitate to discredit the accindividuals out of fear for their very own reputations.

Power and also Authority

In Act 2, we check out that Mary Warren has been offered a new sense of her own power with the value inserted on her testimony in court. Elizabeth notes that Mary"s demeanor, formerly very meek, is now favor that of "the daughter of a prince" (pg. 50). Mary has never felt choose she was a part of something considerable favor this before, which likely adds to her conviction that the human being she"s accutilizing are truly witches. Mary and also the other girls are riding on a high of attention and also respect from powerful civilization in the community, so they are specifically encouraged to stick to their stories (and also also genuinely think their very own lies).

At this point, Abigail has gone from a nobody to (unofficially) among the a lot of effective world in Salem. It would certainly be very tough for her to go earlier on her accusations currently. Abigail"s low standing in normal times ironically gives her a great deal of power in her present instance. No one thinks she"s smart or devious enough to consist of all these insane stories, so she is taken at her word. In the words of John Proctor, "the little crazy kids are jangling the secrets of the kingdom" (pg. 73).


This template is influential in the dynamic in between John and also Elizabeth. John is frustrated via Elizabeth because she still does not fully trust him, but he"s really projecting his internal guilt around his affair with Abigail onto her. John gets functioned up because he"s angry at himself for fundamentally setting these accusations in movement against his wife. He"s frustrated that he hasn"t been allowed to leave the affair behind him and also hates that he now has to face approximately genuine consequences. He underapproximated Abigail and also is currently paying the price. John"s guilt is a huge thematic underexisting throughout the play, as we will check out to an even better degree in the following 2 acts.

Even prior to his arremainder (spoiler alert), John is a prisoner of his own guilt. He kinda deserves it, tbh.

The Crucible Act 2 Synopsis Conclusion

In Act 2, the instance in Salem goes from worrisome to directly up horrifying. It becomes clear simply just how far the characters are willing to go to protect themselves against the town"s burgeoning hysteria (even if it implies establishing others on a path to the gallows). Let"s recap the most vital events:

Elizabeth increates John that more human being have actually been arrested, and also he requirements to go to Salem to tell the court that Abigail is a fraud.

Mary retransforms from Salem after participating in the trials and also provides Elizabeth a ragdoll she made in court.

Mary tells the Proctors that Elizabeth was discussed briefly, yet the accusations were dismissed many thanks to Mary"s favorable testimony.

Elizabeth knows Abigail will certainly continue to accusage her till somepoint sticks, and she tells John he hregarding go directly to Abigail and also tell her that they"re NEVER gonna be a thing.

Hale warily inquiries the Proctors about their skimpy church attendance, and also John tells him Abigail is a fraud. Hale has fleeting doubts around the legitimacy of the girls" accusations.

Francis Nurse and also Giles Corey pertained to the house and say that their wives have actually been arrested.

Then, Ezekiel Cheever and Marshal Herrick arrive with a warrant for Elizabeth"s arremainder.

They discover a needle in the doll Mary provided Elizabeth that corresponds to the needle that Elizabeth"s familiar soul supposedly used to stab Abigail.

Elizabeth goes with them peacecompletely after realizing she can not prove her innocence.

John angrily insists that Mary must tell the court Abigail is lying.

Mary states she"s also scared of the after-effects and also does not think she can perform it.

This is all a set-up for the heightened drama of Act 3. John Proctor is prepared to tell the whole truth around Abigail to conserve his wife and also the rest of the accused, however will that be enough to stem the tide of witch-connected hysteria? Hint: no.

What"s Next?

Want a complete summary of the play all in one place? Check out our complete overview of the plot of The Crucible, consisting of descriptions of the major personalities and a list of significant themes.

If you"re trying to find a deeper thematic discussion to help you compose a killer essay, read this article on how each theme manifests in the play and also what bigger conclusions can be attracted as an outcome.

We"ve additionally created in-depth analyses of the a lot of considerable personalities in The Crucible.

See more: How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You ?The Center For Parenting Education

Read all about the traits, actions, and thematic relevance of Abigail Williams, Rebecca Nurse, John Proctor, Giles Corey, and also Mary Warren.