Changes In Reading Of Crucible When Dropped Scene Is Added

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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In the published reading version of The Crucible, Act II Scene II, which was included in the original production, was dropped. The reading of the play changes when this extra scene is added.

Prior to reading scene II, I believed that John Proctor had gotten over Abigail Williams after his wife had kicked her out. During scene II, Proctor comes to Williams in the middle of the night in an out of the way place just to comfort her. This makes me think that he may still have feelings for Abigail and did have feelings for her throughout the rest of the play. These feelings would have made Proctors decision to admit to adultery much more difficult than it already was.

Also in Scene II, on line 39, the narrator says that Proctor saw Abigail's madness. Nowhere else in the play is it said that Abigail is mad. I have thought that Abigail was just an intelligent and very shrewd girl.

The following lines back up this declaration of her insanity, where Abigail talks about the hypocrisy of the town. She seems to think that she is some agent of god who was given the power and responsibility to "scrub the world clean for the love of him." The last thing revealed in this scene that changes how I read the play is the fact that Proctor warned Abigail that he would reveal their affair. He told her that if she did not admit to lying about Goody Proctor's practicing of witchcraft, he would tell the judges that she was lying and would provide a motive by admitting to committing adultery with her. In the movie and in the play, Abigail appeared to be surprised when Proctor admitted to adultery.

Arthur Miller omitted act two scene two from the play The Crucible. He should not have removed this scene because it makes three significant changes to the way the play is read and understood.