• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the factors leading up to the death of John Proctor and comment on the way these issues are presented in the play.

Extracts from this document...


EXPLORE THE FACTORS LEADING UP TO THE DEATH OF JOHN PROCTOR AND COMMENT ON THE WAY THESE ISSUES ARE PRESENTED IN THE PLAY The first opening scene is of some girls in the woods using magical rites to get the man of their dreams. The girls are mentioning the names of men they want and throwing what looks like herbs into a cauldron one girl gives a chicken to a black girl called Tituba who is at the side of the cauldron, and at this point she looks like the leader in these magical rites. The girls all shout at Tituba to make a spell to make the boys fall in love with them. One girl asks Abigail who she likes and another replies 'John Proctor' and then Abigail whispers something to Tituba who doesn't seem to like what is being asked of her. Abigail then grabs the chicken from Tituba and throws it on the floor and then puts the blood of the chicken on her mouth. The girls are suddenly alerted to a man spying on them he even sees one of the girls naked they become hysterical and the next day we find that two of the younger girls have gone into a trance-like state probably because they were frightened of the consequences of their actions. The watcher's daughter Betty Parriss was one of the girls in a trance. The watcher was none other than Reverend Samuel Parriss who is also the uncle of Abigail Williams. Reverend Parriss is terrified by what he has seen. He is quite hysterical as he knows that if a witch was to live within his own home the fingers of the village of Salem would point towards him and his days in the Church would be over, but even worse they could hang him. The Reverend questions Abigail in Betty's bedroom, whilst she is in the trance like state,on what he has witnessed in the woods and he warns her that his whole life depends upon her answering 'truthfully'. ...read more.


She presents Goody Proctor with a little rag doll she has made whilst sitting in court. Mary Warren will not tell the Proctors who accused Goody Proctor of being a witch. Goody Proctor is aware that it is Abigail who has accused her of witchcraft, she knows and it was apparent to me that Abigail was trying to find a way of getting rid of John's wife. In reality Abigail knows that Goody Proctor does not lie and will not admit to being a witch and will therefore hang. Proctor goes to see Abigail and tries to stop her stupidity but Abigail says that she has a bite from the spirit of Goody Proctor, and now we can see just how evil Abigail is. John Proctor warns Abigail that if she cries witch against his wife he will wreak vengeance upon her 'it will be the end of you' he tells her. Although she loves John Proctor she is not wary of him and it doesn't change her mine about branding Goody Proctor a witch she sees herself as above the law because the courts have given her power over everyone in Salem. At this point I believe that the judges realize that this witch hunt is a farce but they want to believe witches exist . They discuss the deaths of the children at birth and the land rights. It seems as though they cannot back down, they have to prove there are witches in Salem whatever the cost to the community, it is a matter of cleansing the area of Masachusettes of the Devil and the judges see this as an opportunity to show the whole area that witchcraft and Devil worship will not be tolerated. Mr Hale comes to the Proctor's farm to warn them of the accusation of witchcraft against Goody Proctor. Hale is a man in anguish, he seems confused not knowing right from wrong and is worried about darkness prevailing in the village. ...read more.


They talk of their baby not yet born and their boys. John knows he is about to die but says he is thinking to confess just to be done with the problem. Goody says she will accept whatever he does. John says 'it is hard to give a lie to dogs' and that it is only spite that makes him stay silent. Goody replies 'whatever you will do it's a good man does it' she says she has her own sins to deal with. Goody admits to keeping a cold house and asks for his forgiveness. John shouts to the courts 'I want my life' The next problem begins when the judges want a signed confession that is to be pasted on the door of the church. He is asked if he saw Rebecca Nurse and others with the devil, John cannot lie and so he says that he saw no-one with the Devil. Hale pleads with the judge to let Proctor just sign his own confession which Proctor does but then reality strikes him and he argues that he cannot bring his boys up to be good men if this lie is pasted to the church door. He pleads that he has given this court his soul could they not leave him with his name. Proctor tears up the piece of paper with his signature on in and condemns himself to death. Hale pleads with Goody to change John's mind and Goody replies 'he has his goodness now God forbid I take it from him. Three innocent people are sent to be hanged and now we see the village people look on in total silence. This play showed peoples greed, ignorance, arrogance, hatred and all centred around one girl's unrequited love for a married man. It showed the good people dying whilst the tormentors stood by and gloated. It showed us how the might of the many blows away reality. Mass hysteria of young girls convinced grown men, mature judges that Salem was the Devils playground. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Who was to blame for the death of John Proctor?

    4 star(s)

    "He felt insulted if someone rose to shut the door without asking his permission first" said about Parris on page 1, displays how Parris only truly liked those who "followed the rules", this advances to the initial thought that Parris never liked Proctor from the beginning as the narrative passage

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Is John Proctor a good man?

    4 star(s)

    They then start to ask Mary Warren to prove this and when she cannot Proctor makes one desperate bid for this authority by finally overcoming his desire to protect his good name, exposing his own secret sin. He hopes to replace his wife's alleged guilt with his own guilt and bring down Abigail in the process.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Who is blame for the death of John Proctor?

    4 star(s)

    She is just as selfish as Abigail Williams; whatever keeps her in the right place she would also do anything to get there, for example lying all the time just so she doesn't get in trouble. She didn't have to say John Proctor is a witch to protect herself, yet

  2. This Essay is Discussing Whether Abigail Williams was a Victim or an Aggressor in ...

    An example of her showing that she wanted John Proctor back is when she says, "I am waitin' for you every night." He does not want to restart their relationship because he has seen what Abigail is really like. He has seen that she is very selfish and will do anything to get her own way.

  1. "Examine the changes that John Proctor and Reverend Hale go through as the play ...

    Miller has Proctor act this way because the audience will react to him and think that he is an awful person, when Proctor gets aggressive towards Abigail after she insults his wife Miller wants the audience to know that he is over her and committed to his wife.

  2. "The Crucible" - John Proctor says, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is ...

    For instance, his inability to handle the situation, the dancing in the woods, where he found his daughter, niece and other young girls in the wood, doing what he thought to be conjuring spirits, and Betty's state of unconsciousness. Parris could have handled the situation with humour, realising that such

  1. How much is John Proctor responsible for his own death.

    I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" For Proctor, we quickly realise their relationship belongs to the past-while he may still be attracted to her, he is desperately trying to put the incident behind him.

  2. In part two of Silas Marner, Eppie has the opportunity to be adopted by ...

    (Chapter 16, page 124) Silas was also a very shallow person until Eppie arrived, and was only interested in money. Eppie changed his view on life, and the only way he would be attracted back to money was if he lost Eppie.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work