The Crucible

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The Crucible Act Four Questions

Short Response Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of the drama. Write a response on a separate sheet of paper.

1.Where does Tituba think that the Devil is going to take her?

2.Give one example of how Abigail shows her dishonesty in this act.

3.What effect do the trials have on Salem? Use three details from the drama to support your answer.

4.When first arrives at the Salem jail, Danforth complains, “There is a prodigious stench in this place.” How might this line be read to mean something besides a comment on the smell?

5.How is Giles Corey’s character reflected in his death? Use one detail from the drama to support your response.

6.What qualities does Proctor find within himself that prevent him from at last saving himself and signing the confession? Use details from the text to support your response.

7.Explain how Proctor is right or wrong for refusing to sign the confession. Use details to support your response.

8.A tragic hero’s fate, according to Aristotle, inspires pity and horror. Name the tragic hero in The Crucible, and describe how his or her fate inspires both pity and horror.

9.People accused of being Communists had a difficult time getting jobs; some even moved out of the United States in order to try to resume normal lives. How is Proctor’s situation like that of the people accused of Communist activities?

10.Based on the conversation involving Tituba, Sarah Good, and Herrick at the beginning of Act IV of The Crucible, what obsession of the day is weighing heavily on these characters?

11.In Act IV of The Crucible, Cheever comments on the “many cows wanderin’ the highroads, now their masters are in jail and much disagreement who they will belong to now.” What does the report of wandering cows symbolize about the effects of the witch trails on the society of Salem?

12.In Act IV of The Crucible, Parris complains to Danforth about the disappearance of Abigail and her apparent theft of his savings, as well as about the signs of growing discontent in the community over the wave of executions. Why does Danforth respond to him with contempt?

13.In Act IV of The Crucible, what does Danforth’s determination to proceed immediately with the executions symbolize about the nature the legal system? Explain your answer.

14.In Act IV of The Crucible, there are reports that the people of Andover have refused to cooperate with the witchcraft court there. What can the reader infer about the citizens of Andover from these reports?

15.In Act IV of The Crucible, it is evident that Elizabeth Proctor has changed during her imprisonment. How has she changed? Explain your answer, citing details from the text to support your answer.

16.In The Crucible, the line between religious and governmental authority is easily blurred and sometimes nonexistent. How is the relationship between church and state different in the present-day United States from the way it was at the time of The Crucible?

17.In Act IV of The Crucible, John Proctor anguishes over having his signed confession made public. In what respect is Proctor’s determination to preserve his good name, and his resulting tragic downfall, an echo of the McCarthy era of the 1950s?

18.One definition of the word crucible is “a severe test.” Use the chart below to identify the key way in which each of the listed characters is tested by the events of The Crucible. Then, in the right-hand column, indicate whether that character passed or failed the “test.”

19.Thinking About the Essential Question: How does literature shape or reflect society? A classic theme of literature in general—and of The Crucible in particular—is the conflict that can arise between a person’s individual ideals and principles on the one hand and the expectations of society on the other. Discuss this theme as it applies to two major characters in The Crucible. Support...
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