Escalating Hysteria: The Crucible Act Two Analysis

Categories: The Crucible

Giles enters on page fifty-eight. A sense of urgency is created by the punctuation and the fact that Giles is speaking in monosyllables. He brings more bad news. "They take my wife... And his Rebecca! " The fact that Martha and Rebecca have been charged would make the audience seriously concerned. On page fifty-nine Ezekiel Cheever enters. There is a "shocked silence", which is mentioned in the stage directions. Then Marshall Herrick enters. He is "Shame faced". The audience would be worried for Elizabeth at this point as Ezekiel Cheever mentions that he has come with business of the court.

Next Cheever asks Proctor if Elizabeth has any puppets in the house. "So will you hand me any poppets that your wife may keep here? " The audience would be very concerned for Elizabeth as Mary gave her puppet earlier on in the act. Cheever finds the puppet and examines it. He suddenly cries out as he finds a needle stuck in its belly.

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The others are informed that Abigail fell to the floor during her supper and a needle was found in her belly. The audience would immediately expect that Abigail put the needle in herself, but would still be worried about Elizabeth.

Elizabeth fetches Mary and she tells Cheever that the puppet is hers and is told of Abigail's plight. Elizabeth is informed that she is accused. When hearing this she uses violent language towards Abigail. "Why - ! The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world! " This sparks Cheever off into believing that Elizabeth is a witch a produces a warrant for her arrest.

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John grabs the warrant and rips it up. This is seen as an attack on the law. The situation escalates and eventually Elizabeth leaves with Cheever and Herrick.

Soon after Giles, Hale and Francis Nurse leave, leaving John and Mary alone. John uses violent, scary and abusive language against Mary. "I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me! " There has been a drastic change in John since the start of the act and has become a wild and tortured beast who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Act two has ended in hysteria just like the first and has developed characters and themes from the first act. John is more angry and Hale has become very guilt ridden.

The theme of witch craft has developed and now betrayal, deceit and love have entered the structure of the play. The fact that so many people have been put in jail has fastened the pace of the action and made it more frantic and chaotic. This act has prepared us for Act three as we now know that the action will be based upon John and Giles trying to get there wives out of jail and trying to bring Abigail to justice. In conclusion, the play has now entered its reasons for being called The Crucible as John Proctor has entered the flames that will soon make him pure.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Escalating Hysteria: The Crucible Act Two Analysis. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Escalating Hysteria: The Crucible Act Two Analysis essay
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