The Crucible Act 3 Summary
Act 3 of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a pivotal act in the play, as it marks the climax of the story. The focus of the act is the trial of John Proctor and the other accused witches, and the tension between the court and the accused is palpable. As the court proceedings unfold, the characters’ motivations, secrets, and lies are revealed, leading to an explosive and heartbreaking conclusion.
John Proctor's Trial
The act begins with the trial of John Proctor. Abigail Williams is the main witness against him, and she accuses him of being a witch. John Proctor defends himself, stating that he has never practiced witchery. Judge Hathorne and the court do not believe him, and they demand that he confess and sign a written confession. Proctor refuses, stating that he will not sign a lie. As the trial progresses, Mary Warren reveals that Abigail has been lying about the other accused witches. The court, however, is not convinced and they order John Proctor to confess.
Elizabeth Proctor's Testimony
The next witness is Elizabeth Proctor, John’s wife. Elizabeth testifies that her husband is a good man and that he has never practiced witchery. She also reveals that Abigail had an affair with John, and that she is the one who has been lying about the other accused witches. The court does not believe her, and they order her to step down.
John Proctor's Confession
John Proctor eventually confesses to the court that he is a witch. However, he still refuses to sign the written confession. He states that he will not sign a lie, even if it means he will save his life. The court does not accept his confession, and they sentence him to death.
The Final Scene
The final scene of the act is a heartbreaking one. John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, and Reverend Hale are all in prison, awaiting their executions. John Proctor is given one final chance to save his life by signing the written confession, but he still refuses. He believes that his name is his only legacy, and he will not sign a lie that would tarnish it. Elizabeth Proctor pleads with him to sign the confession, but he stands firm in his conviction. In the end, John Proctor is taken away to be hanged for witchcraft.
Act 3 of The Crucible is a powerful and emotional act. It marks the climax of the play, as John Proctor and the other accused witches are put on trial and their secrets, lies, and motivations are revealed. In the end, John Proctor refuses to sign the written confession and is sentenced to death. The act ends with a heartbreaking scene in which John Proctor is taken away to be hanged, a testament to his unwavering conviction and strength.