Summary of the Crucible

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The Crucible
Summary
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Act 1
Portrayed in Massachusetts - 1962, the play begins with the prayers of Reverend Samuel Parris in his house, next to his daughter's bed. His ten-year old daughter - Betty, who became ill and unconscious ever since Parris found her dancing in the woods with Abigail – his seventeen-year old niece – and Tituba – his slave from Barbados – with some of other girls in the village. Worried about Betty and her strange illness , which he believes that it was caused by witchcraft, he sent for help from Reverend Hale of Beverly – a famous specialist in witchcraft. While praying in his daughter's room, Abigail came in. Parris starts to interrogate her about what happened that night , which he tells Abigail he can't admit that he saw all that to the public and warns her not to tell anyone. He is afraid of his enemies using this scandal against him. Abigail says that she will admit dancing in the forest and accept the punishment for it, but denies doing witchcraft. However, Parris is half-convinced by her story. Parris asks if her reputation in the town is “entirely white” because of the rumors that Elizabeth Proctor – wife of John Proctor and past employer of Abigail – fired her because Elizabeth thinks Abigail is a “soiled woman”. Abigail denies and states that Elizabeth hates her because she “would not be her slave”. Thomas Putnam and his wife enters the room. Mrs. Putnam tells Parris that someone saw Betty flying over a barn. They also inform Parris about Ruth – their daughter – is sick and they believe she has supernatural symptoms and might be even bewitched. Mrs. Putham has seven babies but they all died in a day of their births. She admits sending Ruth to Tituba because of her ability to speak to the dead so she can reveal the identity of her children' murderer. Mercy Lewis – Putnam's servant – enters and informs them that Ruth has signs of life. Abigail suggests Parris to meet the crowd gathered up downstair and “lead them in a palsm” but he refuses to say anything about witchcraft just yet. After everyone leaves, Abigail tells Mercy what happened and then Mary Warren – Proctor's servant – enters the room and freaks out about what's happening and worries that people might call them witches. Betty suddenly wakes up and calls for her mother but her mother is “dead and burried”. Abigail tells all of them that she has told Parris about everything they did in the woods but Betty points out that she didn't tell him about her drinking blood as a charm to kill Elizabeth Proctor – John Proctor's wife. Abigail then threatens to kill them if they tell anyone else what happened except for the dancing and Tituba conjuring Ruth's dead sisters. After that, Betty goes back to her unconscious state. John Proctor enters and forces Mary to go home. Both Mercy and Mary then leave the room with only unconscious Betty, John and Abigail. Abigail admits about the dancing and everything, then declares her feelings for him. John however, refuses about his feelings and the affair, which makes Abigail angry. She says that he still has feelings for her because she saw him looking up at her window, he admits the feelings but still refuses to accept the relationship. Abigail insults Elizabeth, which makes John angry and threaten Abigail for insulting his wife. Suddenly, Betty covers her ears and shouts when hearing people singing the palsm which has the Lord's name. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam, Parris, Mercy then come into the room and rush to Betty. Mrs. Putnam says Betty's bewitched and can't hear the Lord's name. Rebecca – a highly respected old woman in Salem – enters and approaches Betty, somehow Betty calms down as she approaches. Giles Corey – a disputative old farmer – enters the room right after Rebecca. Rebecca tells everyone that there's probably nothing wrong with Ruth and Betty, just some childish behaviours out of her own experiences as...
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