The Crucible Act Four Essay

665 words - 3 pages

'The Crucible- Act Four' The scene in Act Four of The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, defines thecharacterization, themes, and conflicts of the play. The scene takes place in acourt dungeon where John Proctor, is confronted by his wife Elizabeth for thefirst time in many months. The couple is imprisoned on having been falselyconvicted of practicing witchcraft. While Elizabeth has been held with therest of the members of the community, John has been isolated in a dark,dingy, dungeon. He is to be hung for his 'crimes' the very next morning. Thecourt officials send Elizabeth in to convince John to confess in writing thatthe accusations against him are true and that the verdict is just. The conversation that takes place between Proctor and Elizabeth is'above sorrow, beyond it.' They are bewildered by the hatred against them.They know they have done nothing, and are falsely accused. Yet, even withthe glum atmosphere created by the conversation, the reader detects aglimmer of optimism, determination, and hope in Proctor's voice. The readerfeels that he will fight till the end. 'It is hard to give a lie to dogs.', he says. Proctor continually wavers in his decision whether to confess to thisoutright lie, or to spite the evil and be hung in martyrdom. Up to this point intime, the court officials have no definitive proof that any witchcraft hasactually been practiced. Innocent people are being hung only on account ofthe testimony given by one young girl. Proctor realizes that by confessing, hewill mar the memory of the many who have thus far been killed withoutconfirming the false accusations. These dead would not sign their namesfalsely just to spare their own life. How could Proctor disrespect the causethat these dead gave their lives for,...

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