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The Crucible | Act Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Spring 1692

    Betty Parris is comatose after her father finds her dancing in the woods with other girls.

    Act 1 (Betty Is Bewitched)
  • Later; spring 1692

    John Proctor tells Abigail Williams their affair ended seven months earlier; she won't accept it.

    Act 1 (The Courage of John Proctor)
  • Later; spring 1692

    Reverend Hale arrives in Salem to investigate the town's accusations of witchcraft.

    Act 1 (Reverend John Hale Arrives)
  • Later; spring 1692

    Abigail accuses Tituba of conjuring spirits and creating a witches' brew while the girls danced.

    Act 1 (Reverend John Hale Arrives)
  • Later; spring 1692

    Elizabeth wants John to prove his fidelity and tell the court clerk Abigail's charges are lies.

    Act 2 (John and Elizabeth Quarrel)
  • Later; spring 1692

    Elizabeth is arrested for trying to murder Abigail by using a poppet for her sorcery.

    Act 2 (Elizabeth Is Arrested)
  • Later; spring 1692

    John Proctor, two friends, and Mary Williams try to convince the judges the girls are frauds.

    Act 3
  • Later; spring 1692

    John admits to adultery, but Elizabeth lies to save him; John is arrested for witchcraft.

    Act 3
  • Fall 1692

    The ministers try to convince John Proctor to confess to witchcraft to save his life.

    Act 4
  • Later; fall 1692

    John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey are hanged for practicing witchcraft.

    Act 4

Act Summaries Chart

Act Summary
Overture Miller calls his introduction to the play "An Overture," a word that usually refers to the orchestral introduction of a ... Read More
Act 1 (Betty Is Bewitched) When Act 1 begins Reverend Parris kneels by the bed of his daughter, Betty, who is in a comatose state. He pleads with G... Read More
Act 1 (The Courage of John Proctor) The other girls leave when John Proctor enters Betty's room. Abigail immediately starts to flirt with him and tries to c... Read More
Act 1 (Reverend John Hale Arrives) Reverend John Hale, a young minister from Beverly, Massachusetts, and a renowned witchcraft expert, enters the room. He ... Read More
Act 2 (John and Elizabeth Quarrel) As Act 2 begins John Proctor returns from seeding the fields for the summer crop and is pleased to hear his wife, Elizab... Read More
Act 2 (Elizabeth Is Arrested) Reverend Hale spends his evening visiting the houses of those who have been accused of practicing witchcraft to assess t... Read More
Act 3 As Act 3 begins, Judge Hathorne is heard interrogating Martha Corey. Her husband, Giles, yells that the lies are taintin... Read More
Act 4 As Act 4 opens, Marshal Herrick is moving Sarah Good and Tituba to another cell. Reverend Hale is also there but without... Read More
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