Character Analysis: Reverend Parris

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2002

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The scene that are group is doing is in Act IV. It takes place in the Salem jail, during the fall. In this scene they are trying to persuade John Proctor to confess, even though he is innocent. Almost all of the characters in this scene are speaking to Proctor or speaking of him. Even after hearing that all of the characters supported the idea of his confession, Proctor still did not do it, so he was hanged.

The beginning of this scene takes place in a cell in the Salem jail. Elizabeth and Proctor are in the cell by themselves for a little while and then Hathorne, Danforth, Cheever, Parris, and Hale enter the small jail cell. They are all speaking to Proctor and trying to get him to sign a paper of confession, but he won't. Rebecca Nurse then comes in accompanied by Herrick. At this time, all of the characters in our scene are all together for the first time.

After tearing up the confession paper, Proctor walks out of the cell followed by Herrick, Danforth, and Cheever. Hale, Parris, and Elizabeth stand in the cell staring at the doorway. Hale and Parris plead with Elizabeth to go and try to make her husband confess, but she simply states that he has is goodness and she will not take it from him. The only prop necessary for this scene are chains to bind Proctor's hands together.

My character, Reverend Samuel Parris, doesn't say much in this scene, but what he does say displays the change in his emotions since the court case. He realizes that by defending Abigail in the court case, he is going to cause the death of an innocent man. I think this change in Parris is a legitimate one. I feel that Parris' passion for the confession of Proctor was the only obstacle in his way, and he was not successful at overcoming that obstacle. Reverend Parris doesn't say too much, and he doesn't have any pauses in the few things that he does say.