STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS - The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Act Four: Directions: Write questions and answers on your paper. Include page numbers where you found the answers.


1. What explanation does Cheever give for Parris' "mad look"?

2. What did Abigail do?

3. Parris says, "You cannot hang this sort. There is danger for me." What "sort" does he mean, and what is the danger to him?

4. Explain Danforth's reason that a pardon would not be just.

5. Why has Hale come back to Salem?

6. What does Hale want Elizabeth to do?

7. What happened to Giles?

8. Proctor says, "My honesty is broke, Elizabeth, I am no good man." Explain.

9. What "confession" did Elizabeth make to John?

10. What did Proctor do after he signed the confession? Why?

11. "I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" Explain.

12. "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!" What does Elizabeth mean? 

1. He thinks it is caused by the cows. In other words, the cows are left wandering since their

masters are in jail, and there is much contention in the town about ownership and the

whole political scene.

2. Abigail stole money from Parris and disappeared, reportedly left on a ship.

3. Because Proctor, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Martha and others were upstanding citizens,

generally respected in the community (as opposed to Sarah Good who was a beggar

woman), people were truly doubtful of their connections with the devil. Since Parris was

so involved with the prosecution of these individuals, he was beginning to get threats on

his life.

4. If he would pardon the remaining accused, the people who had been hanged would have

died in vain, unjustly. Rather than admit that the court could have been wrong and

therefore admit the others may have been hanged unjustly, he thought it better to continue

hanging people so all accused would get the same treatment from the court. His logic was

peculiar to say the least.

5. Hale has come back to Salem to encourage the accused to confess and save their lives

(whether they are guilty or not).

6. Hale wants Elizabeth to convince Proctor to confess.

7. Giles was pressed to death during questioning.

8. At this point, he has decided to confess even though he is not guilty. He is telling a lie to

save his own life. That in itself takes away his goodness, his honesty. Besides the fact that

lying is a sin, he has broken the code of a man's life. Even non-religious people recognize

the importance of honesty to one's character. He has broken this code; he is a sinner, he is

a failure as a man.

9. She tells him that after much thought, she feels she is also responsible for his affair with

Abigail. She thinks if she had been a better, warmer wife, he would not have been

inclined to place his affections elsewhere.

10. He held the confession and would not give it up to be publicly posted. He knew he was

not guilty and did not want to have his lie used to make other innocent people give up

their goodness.

11. By confessing, Proctor has ruined himself, given up his goodness. His hopes for eternal

salvation have been destroyed. Since he shall remain alive on the earth for some time to

come, he at least wants to have his good name so his life here will still be good. If he has

to suffer eternally, the least they can do is to let his remaining years on earth be bearable.

12. Since Proctor refused to make his confession public, the authorities have decided it will

not be accepted. He will hang as if he had not confessed. Proctor regains his goodness by

accepting his death by hanging rather than becoming an accomplice to the misguided

authorities and by holding to the truth that he was not in partnership with the devil. If she

were to convince Proctor to give a public confession (and thereby save his life),

Elizabeth would put him back in the situation where his goodness would be lost. Then,

the loss of his soul would be at least partly her fault. Besides not wanting that

responsibility, she recognized the importance of Proctor's eternal well-being and wished

that for him over her own desires.