In the crucible, Mary Warren is convinced to testify against the team of girls who have been making terrible claims that practically everyone in their town is a witch; During Warren’s testimony, the girls make a final effort to keep their seat, by discrediting the source. To do this, they turn the room from calm to a tumultuous mess of accusations. To do so, Miller – The playwright – Has Abigail cry out and imply the horrible acts of witchcraft that Mary Warren is supposedly performing; assisted by her gaggle of gals. This is accented by Danforth’s heavy handed response, coupled with Hale and Proctor’s obvious fear.
Abigail begins her wave of hysteria by screaming “You will not! Begone! Begone, I say! ” The moment Hale begins to take Mary Warren seriously; This is responded to immediately by Danforth with great fear, for he doesn’t see that the girls are doing exactly what Mary Warren is accusing them of (oh the irony). Miller furthers the effect of the girl’s ploy by having them speak in short non-descriptive sentences “Why—? She gulps. Why do you come, yellow bird? ” the goal to have the reader (and the other people in the room) react fearfully, as they let enough information out to accuse Mary, but not enough to define how much danger they’re in.
Is they continue, Abigail and her troop mimic every word that Mary utters, quickly discrediting her in the eyes of Danforth, while simultaneously enraging Proctor and Hale; as the girls continue, Mary is pushed away from Proctor out of fear of what will happen if she stands with him, and joins the girls, betraying the cause of taking them down, accusing Proctor of being the “Devil’s man” in the process. Miller utilizes Danforth’s heavy handed responses to further the sense of hysteria provided by Abigail.
Danforth immediately believes Abigail, accusing Mary Warren of witchcraft “Where did you find this power? ” Despite Mary’s Protestations “I – Have no power. ”; Danforth then asks “You have seen the Devil, have you not? ” an accusation that causes Mary to turn out of Proctor’s hands. This is all happening whilst Proctor and Hale are furiously trying to pick up the scraps of the situation, a maneuver well executed by Miller; By showing their utter helplessness for the character, we are forced to sympathize with Proctor’s plight, further drawing the reader into the situation.
Eventually Proctor is left to simply cry out “Lies, Lies,” and attempting to acquire a whip to end the girl’s reign; Unfortunately for Proctor, he’s ignored in his requests, left to curse Abigail and her gang’s name “God Damn liars. ” Until he’s betrayed by Mary Warren, “Proctor, astonished: Mary! ” These are the words of a helpless man, who has been given a deck of cards that are impossible to use without losing. Proctor, being a proud man, cannot help but fight against the girls, despite fighting being the worst thing one can do in the situation.
In conclusion, Miller teases the reader by making it seem like Proctor will finally win out against Abigail’s Troop, as before the accusations of witchcraft, Mary Warren was giving her testimony, attempting to discredit Team Abigail. Miller rips this away from the reader, twisting the plot whilst smashing the underdog of the story to little bits; Turning Proctor from a (mostly) honest man of the church, to a man who has submitted to the will of Satan himself. The incomplete ideas combined with heavy handed responses bring fear to both Proctor and Hale, Stopping both of them in their tracks.