Abigail accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft after she supposedly used a poppet to harm Abigail. Reverend Hale found a poppet with a needle in it at the Proctor’s house although really it belonged to Mary Warren, the Proctor’s servant, who was also in the group of girls led by Abigail. She had put the needle into the poppet for safekeeping. Elizabeth was arrested immediately and Proctor forced Mary Warren to tell the court her story and that Elizabeth was innocent. Much of the tension and dramatic conflict comes from Proctor’s hesitation and reluctance to visit Salem and to denounce Abigail Williams as a fraud to free his wife. The court didn’t believe Mary because the girls pretended that Mary’s spirit was attacking them and they became hysterical.Order now
John Proctor was outraged and declared Abigail a ‘whore’ because everyone always seemed to believe her. He was willing to lose complete respect of the people of Salem just to set his wife free and declare that he committed lechery with Abigail. The court didn’t believe him and sent in Elizabeth who lied about his affair with Abigail to protect his name. Suddenly Mary Warren accused John Proctor of dealing with the devil and that he had came to the court to overthrow it. John Proctor was then arrested and this led to his execution. Mary Warren had betrayed him.
John Proctor also has respect for Reverend Hale as he also secretly was against the witchcraft trials. ‘I’ve heard you to be a sensible man, Mr Hale. I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem.’ This also reinforces the fact that he thinks nearly everyone is turning insane due to the trials in Salem. Reverend Hale also had respect for Proctor and shown this near the end of the play. When Proctor tears up his confession Reverend Hale exclaims ‘Man you will hang you cannot !’ This obviously shows that Hale didn’t want Proctor to die.
When Proctor tore up his confession he showed that he had great courage because he knew he was going to die but preferred death to the shame of signing a confession that completely wasn’t true of him dealing with the Devil. He is a complex character who is respected in his town. Proctor shows this when he signs his confession and Parris says, ‘It is a weighty name; it will strike the village that Proctor confess.’ He would lose that respect of the people in Salem, which would be very important to him and obviously preferred death to it.
In response to Hale’s exclamation he retorted, “I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.” In my view, to conclude this, John Proctor is a very good man who certainly isn’t afraid to speak for what he believes in, even if it means losing his life. If I was him I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to die but I respect him for that decision. In this play, it shows that he effectively had been through a crucible, not for purifying metals, but for purifying people; from the adulterer to the good man that hung with Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse.