I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. In contrast, Giles Corey has none of the noble character of the Nurses, yet he can oppose Parris and Putnam because of his contentious, combative manner. Proctor demands that Mary Warren come to court with him and charge murder against Abigail. Abigail encourages her uncle, Parris, to go down and pray with the adults, which gives her a chance to speak to Mercy alone. He says that he feels as though his home is a courtroom, but Elizabeth responds that the real court is in his own heart.
Several young girls claim to be afflicted by witchcraft, starting with Reverend Paris's daughter Betty. According to the other characters, and the audience, desire may mean many other things besides sexual longing. The most significant symbol of this theme in the second act is Mary Warren's poppet. Miller demonstrates this, in particular, when Proctor is unable to recall the commandment against adultery — it is a moment of humor, but it also reflects the crisis of the Proctor marriage. The local physician is unable to determine the cause of Betty's illness. The first act establishes the primary characters of the play who instigate the Salem witch trials. She does, and Betty quiets down.
In this situation the evil of Salem may raise their reputations at the expense of the good. Abigail tells Ruth that Rev. The charges proceed until Tituba is deemed a witch and accuses others of conspiring with Satan. Putnam begins to confirm that she knew this all along. Danforth says that if Proctor is not honestly confessing, then he won't accept the confession. Abigail blames Tituba for enticing her to sin.
If witchcraft is charged Parris fears he may lose his ministry. All she wants, she says, is John Proctor. Proctor says he has no interest in Reverend Parris baptizing his child. Abigail threatens to beat Betty in order to get her to wake up. Earlier that evening, Abigail feels a needle-stab while eating dinner, and she accuses Elizabeth of attempted murder. Miller establishes that Abigail is suspected of adultery with John Proctor, a rumor that is confirmed later in the first act.
Rumors of Witchcraft Reverend Parris, a paranoid, untrusting middle-aged man, is praying over his unconscious daughter, Betty. Parris found a needle in her abdomen, and Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft. The court officials investigate all aspects of the suspects' private lives. She saw Sarah Good with the Devil, she says. He is a local farmer who lives just outside town; Elizabeth Proctor's husband. A grandmother of twenty-six, Rebecca has seen many children behave in silly ways and recognizes what the children are doing.
I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! She asks him to swear he still loves her. In the second part of act two Betty begins screaming, which causes the adults to return to her bedroom. He is there, he says, on business of the court. Putnam claims Francis had no right to the land and, therefore, could not sell it. Rebecca also dislikes the implication that witchcraft is involved, so she leaves. The play begins at the house of Reverend Parris who is kneeling beside the bed of his daughter, Betty.
He is a sinner—not only by the standard of the time, but in his own book too. Abigail speaks tenderly to him and references an affair between them, but Proctor states that he will cut off his hand before he ever touches her again. Fourteen people are now in jail. She says that they would only be whipped for dancing, but if people think they are witches, they could hang them. Putnam chimes in that she has had seven babies die.
Mary Warren also tells him that Abigail saw her sew the poppet and store the needle. They pressure her to name people who she saw with the devil. The Putnams and Reverend Parris are joined by the elderly Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey. For example, Putnam desires land and Parris desires control and authority. Proctor instructs Mary to go to bed, but she demands that he stop ordering her around. His name is all he has left, he says, and he won't ruin it by signing lies.
A man bought a pig from Martha Corey and it died not long afterward; he wanted his money back, but she refused, saying that he did not know how to care for a pig. He introduces himself to Rebecca Nurse, and has heard of her great charity. He asks Abigail if her name and reputation are truly unimpeachable. Proctor demands that she stop judging him. Parris admits to the dancing and the conjuring, while Mrs. Proctor points out that they would have been hanged without a confession.