Abigail swiftly becomes the centre of attention, where she is most happy, as we substantiate that a great deal more had occurred in the woods that night. They had been dancing around a kettle which contained; as Abigail attempts to justify ‘a very little frog. ‘ Then the scene reaches a sudden climax as Hale shakes Abigail repeatedly, confronting her, shocking the audience and abrupting the atmosphere with the news, ‘it may be your cousin is dying. ‘ The audience are immediately gripped and, enraptured by the melodramatic tension, continue to be riveted, as Hale asks Abigail then vital question, ‘did you call the Devil last night?
‘ The continuation of such a novel inquisition leads to Abigail’s implication of Tituba. She does this as soon as the pressure becomes too much for her to cope with and she brings someone else into the hazy spectacle to relieve herself. It is now too late for Abigail to recuperate her actions and Tituba is retrieved from downstairs to be instantly questioned by Hale. Mrs. Putnam enters with Tituba and straight away Abigail points at her. This makes Tituba feel uneasy. This signifies Abigail’s arrogant nature and she makes Tituba feel patronized and terrified.
Abigail screams, ‘she made me do it, she made Betty do it! ‘ Due to the seriousness of this inquisition, Miller makes the atmosphere strained and the conversation is short and disdainful. The impact of this revelation is tremendous; the fact that they were not just dancing – it was far more serious than that. Tituba feels forced into explaining she gave Abigail chicken blood to drink. She realises the only way to get out of this awful corruption is to lie and she makes herself take the blame. Hale is short tempered and offensive towards Tituba, ‘woman, have you enlisted these children for the Devil?
‘ Tituba is direct and explains she never trucked with a Devil. She is lost for words and clarifies she loves Betty. The atmosphere becomes very tense due to the topic of conversation: drinking blood and trafficking with the Devil. There are no stage directions because the actions are being created by the words. Hale makes false accusations towards Tituba before he lets her answer for herself. Hale is arrogant towards Tituba due to the fact she is a black slave with no rights and no status. He declares that Tituba has sent her spirit out upon Betty and accuses her of gathering souls for the Devil.
Using the idea Hale has insinuated Abigail uses it, much to her advantage and remarks that Tituba sent her spirit out to her in church. Parris supports Abigail’s false accusation and recalls; he remembers Abigail laughing in church. That was actually due to the fact she was making contact with John Proctor during Church. Tituba is in a very uncomfortably agonizing situation with not a leg to stand on, with three people resisting her explanations. Tituba’s speeches are long, drawn out due to the fact she is thinking on her feet and everything that comes to mind is spoken aloud.
Abigail blames Tituba for her own corruptions and actions that have taken place because she is taking advantage of the fact that Tituba is a black, Negro slave with no rights and no status. Tituba turns aggressive and she asks why Abigail is using all these fabrications. Abigail gets carried away and her speeches become destructive e. g. ‘sometimes I wake up and find myself standing in the open doorway in the nude. ‘ Nudity was seen as very rude and explicit and therefore this statement would have seemed very serious.
Abigail explains she can hear Tituba laughing in her sleep and singing her Barbados songs and tempting with her. Lost for words, Tituba is in despair. A false misconception from Hale accuses Tituba of having power over Betty and orders to wake her. Hale is short tempered and threatening, the atmosphere clearly shows Abigail is such a persuasive and believably forceful character. Realising telling the truth is getting her nowhere; Tituba is forced into lying and explains of her inner desire to work for the Devil.
Tension increases considering the fact the audience knows that Tituba does not work for the Devil. However, she was in the woods after all- although it doesn’t seem such a big thing now. The audience knows Abigail is the guilty person in this dreadful act of trepidation. Hale hears what he wanted to hear; that Tituba works for the Devil and that she has power over Betty. Hale offers to help Tituba and is softer in his words and actions, he declares, ‘we are going to help you tear yourself free. ‘ The word tear sounds tedious and painful sounding. Stage directions are present to create a different atmosphere.
Frightened by the coming process, Tituba shifts the blame to other well-known middle-aged women in the village of Salem. The characters are amazed and slightly hesitant by the surprise of the women accused: Sarah Good and Goody Osburn. Hale checks her belief to make sure she is a good Christian woman and that in God’s holy name she blesses him. Tituba is so harshly forced into admitting her false accusations she makes herself believe mentally that she has committed them. She realises in order to be good she has to lie and drop other people into the incantation e. g. Goody Good and Goody Osburn.
Hale is direct and adamant to get the information he wants from her, and becomes physically attached to her; as the stage directions suggest, ‘hale takes her hand, she becomes surprised’ and ‘kissing hales hand she alarms. ‘ He makes as much contact with her as he can to try and make her feel comfortable and relaxed so she can tell the truth. He puts ideas of other local female villagers into her head and she is overwrought into admitting they too were involved. Whilst thinking up excuses to why she can’t remember who was there when she saw the Devil, Hale is very forceful.
The atmosphere is somewhat tense yet the conversation is not short and to the point, but long and drawn out as Tituba begins to fabricate her stories. Parris mutters the odd word or two about random villagers, yet again this displays his angst over his reputation in the village. Hysterical, and frenzied, Tituba kisses Hale’s hand and agrees with everything he says. The stage direction for this action is that Tituba is kneeling on the floor, ‘rocking and weeping. ‘ This displays her ordeal in a much sought after way and the fact that she is certainly putting innocent people’s lives at risk.
The audience’s reaction to her movements is that of sheer torment and distress for Tituba. Relief, that the whole naming of innocent people is over, Hale thanks Tituba for her provided allegations and states harshly, ‘You speak a wish to come over to heavens side and we will bless you Tituba. ‘ This signifies Hale giving Tituba a false importance which she is unaware of. This pictures Tituba as an unaware, poor little girl with no self importance, no self worth and someone you can take advantage of. The audience knows now, that since Hale has got what he wanted out of her, he will leave her to perish.
This is an upsetting reprimand of that fact Negro slaves have unfortunate personas that you should look down upon them. Hale is profusely insincere, yet Tituba does not stand for his ‘comfort words’ and does not feel secure within Hales ‘loving arms. ‘ This is a good thing for both the audience and Tituba. Hale tries to elevate Tituba’s self esteem with praise and make her feel more important by telling her, ‘you are Gods instrument put in our hands, you are selected Tituba. ‘ However, this just puts another pressure on her because if she refuses she could be seen as ungodly.
The characters, significantly Parris, are shocked by the new status Hale has created Tituba. A Negro slave being called a ‘selected religious individual’ would have shocked Americans in the 1950’s productions. Hale is unlawfully duping her, telling her she is a ‘child of God’, where his real intentions are to find out the names of other women in the village trafficking with Lucifer. Tituba appears to be so hysterical, that she reacts to the atmosphere and in a frenzied state shouts, ‘oh how many times he bid me kill you Parris.
‘ In this reversal of roles, it becomes clear Tituba is the master in the hierarchy level, and that Parris is the subservient slave. This statement astonishes both the characters and the audience and the tension increases. Tituba does something here that Abigail has just done. She is voicing evil thoughts with no fear of reprisal because she is a victim of the Devil. Tituba gets carried away, and to her advantage of the situation, she inflicts her personal thoughts and wishes into the Devils work.
This sudden outburst reveals a lot about her character. This is virtually the only view throughout the whole play we have of her and it isn’t a very understanding one. Her infliction of painful words and thoughts towards innocent people is misleading. The fact that she is doing this to gain a little self worth for herself. We do not know how Parris treats his slave pre- witchcraft accusations. This may have been a strike of revenge after how Parris treats Tituba. We do not know, and the audience does not know.
At the end of Tituba’s sudden outburst, she is aware of the fact that they need a name and presents the name of Goody Good. The characters are overwhelmed by the fact more and more women’s names are being accused and Parris is amazed by the fact Sarah Good is accused. The atmosphere becomes electric with suspense. Tituba then names Goody Osburn, the ageing mid wife. Abigail seizes the opportunity to endorse all that Tituba has said and exclaims, ‘I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! ‘ the situation rapidly becomes infectious as Betty joins in the naming of innocent women.
This is the first time Betty has spoken since she and the other girls from the village were caught dancing in the woods with Tituba. As Betty speaks the audience are silent with amazement and the characters believe Tituba is honoured to have ‘woken this child. ‘ The characters are bewildered by the behaviour of the girls as they continue to name innocent souls. As the end of the act draws to an end and as the curtain falls, the scene draws to a climax as Hale sends for the Marshall and calls to him to bring handcuffs to make arrests.
The audience is left in anxious doubt. The significance of the end of this scene and the inquisitions later on in court are relatively alike; the fact that the demoniac ways the girls asserted themselves aggressively, resulting in virtuous lives being lost. Abigail’s final accusations are dramatically ironic compared to the fact that when Abigail and John Proctor had a privately intimate talk, she told him they were ‘just children being children’ and that it was ‘so called pretence.
‘ The audience will have latched onto these facts and Miller has dramatically portrayed Abigail as a devious, hypocritical, two-faced, deceitful, lying young woman. Therefore, I can conclude; in relation to the question, ‘consider the importance of this scene to the rest of the play and analyse how Miller makes it dramatic. ‘ That this scene contains vast amounts of valuable information that is later relied on in court and also the fact Hales ideas of the devils children’s characteristics are later used as a parable in Abigail and her little followers work.
Miller uses many different devices to make this scene ultimately dramatic which have analysed each one carefully and displayed my information within this essay. The witchcraft trials in Salem were remarkable, mainly for the numbers involved. Before the witchcraft hysteria was over the girls had pointed the finger at hundreds of supposed witches, not only in Salem but also in places far apart such as Andover and Charleston. They even accused people they did not know e. g. Abigail accused Hales wife whom she had never met.
By October 1692 doubts had set in about the girl’s testimony. In December 1692 Governor Phillips appointed a new session of the Superior Court of Judicature to clear the jails, and issued a general pardon to all persons still under suspicion. By this time, however, nineteen people had been hanged, one pressed to death under a pile of rocks (Giles Corey) for refusing to speak at his own trial, and at least two more people had died in prison, bringing the number of deaths to twenty-two.