the crucible

the crucible

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  • Betty Has fallen into a coma in her home with her father, minister, her teenage niece and his slave.
  • the town doctor can't figure out what's the matter and suggests Parris look for spiritual causes. Abigail tells Parris about rumors that witchcraft caused Betty's faint
  • Abigail insists there was no witchcraft, but Parris says he saw Tituba chanting over a cauldron. Abigail says that Tituba was just singing songs from Barbados,
  • Mrs. Putnam tells Parris this event is a mark of hell on his house. She then asks how high Betty flew. Parris denies that anyone flew, but Mrs. Putnam says witnesses saw her fly. Rumors of witchcraft become belief in witchcraft: hysteria works by building upon irrational fear. Thomas Putnam enters and says it's a blessing that the "thing is out now." Putnam remarks that Betty's eyes are closed, while his daughter Ruth's eyes are open. Parris is shocked that other girls are also sick. Mrs. Putnam says they're not sick: they're being attacked by the devil.
  • Mrs. Putnam, who's had seven babies die in infancy, admits she sent Ruth to Tituba, who can conjure the dead, to find out why the babies died. Now that Ruth is afflicted too, Mrs. Putnam is certain that someone murdered her babies. Putnam says a witch must be hiding in Salem. Mrs. Putnam wants to have something to blame for the deaths of her babies. She wants it to be witchcraft, though she may not realize consciously that she does. Parris turns to Abigail, who admits Ruth and Tituba conjured spirits, but insists she wasn't involved.
  • Reverend Hale enters carrying a stack of religious books about witchcraft. He seems eager to flex his authority. Proctor departs, but not before saying he's heard Hale is a sensible man and that he hopes he'll bring some sense to Salem. Hale examines Betty, but when Putnam mentions witchcraft Hale stops him.
  • Hale takes out a book about witchcraft and prepares to examine Betty further, Rebecca departs, clearly dismissing all this fuss as foolish.Tituba identifies Sarah Good and Mrs. Osburn as other witches. Mrs. Putnam shouts that she knew it!Suddenly Abigail stands up and shouts that she too wants to confess, to return to God. She starts chanting names of women she's seen with the devil. Betty wakes and begins to chant names too
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