Analysis of Act II Scene II of 'The Crucible'

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Al Johri Ms. Hamilton English III Honors 14 September 2009 In Arthur Miller's classic play, the Crucible, Act II, Scene II was deliberately removed. This scene largely consisted of a heated conversation between the two protagonists of the play, Abigail Williams and John Proctor. At first, Abigail believes that Proctor has finally come to marry her; however, this misconception is cleared when Proctor releases his wrath upon her due to Abigail's baseless accusation of witchcraft upon his wife, Elizabeth. As the scene progresses, the reader sees how Abigail becomes so wrapped up in her lies and witchcraft, consequently diminishing her intelligence, and what little respect she had in the reader's eyes. The reason the scene was cut from the play lies in both the significance of the conversation and what it revealed about the John Proctor in terms of his affair and his character. The conversation between John Proctor and Abigail Williams had great significance to both the play itself and the setting in which it was placed. It blatantly called out the irony of the Puritan way of life and the hypocrisy going on in Salem at the time. When Abigail addresses John and says, “Oh Hypocrites! Have you won him too?” [p. 151], she is referring to the townspeople of Salem as the hypocrites and questioning John’s integrity and strength. Further, she takes it upon herself to redress these hypocrisies; however, she herself is a hypocrite due to her fornication and adultery with Proctor, yet she considers herself holy. By informing the reader that her motive was not only revenge but to "cleanse" the town, Miller deprives the reader of the opportunity to form his own opinion on the conflict of the story. If the reader does not know that Abigail had this plan, than he has the ability to expand his knowledge and wonder if the conflict was real or a
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