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Sample text

Before Elizabeth enters, Proctor tastes, and then adds some more salt to, the stew over the fire. There is constraint between the two. Elizabeth suspects he has been in Salem, and he knows she thinks he had been to see Abigail. She tells him that their servant girl, Mary Warren, now 'an official of the court', had been and told her of the court in Salem, with fourteen people 24 in jail, and the promise of hanging if they didn't confess. Abigail and the other girls were in court, and if they screamed and howled and fell on the floor when someone was brought before them, then that person was clapped in jail for bewitching them.

When Tituba appears, Abigail instantly points at her to take the pressure away from herself; but notice that Tituba is genuinely 'shocked and angry' to be accused by Abigail because, as Tituba later makes clear (and there is no reason to doubt her word) it was Abigail who had begged her to conjure and make a charm. Tituba's part in this scene needs careful consideration. As Miller said earlier 'her slave sense has warned her that, as always, trouble. eventually 23 lands on her back'. She is 'shocked and angry' when Abigail accuses her, because it was Abigail who had begged her to 'conjure'.

Although there is no stage direction, Abigail's 'Mr Danforth, he is lying' is said composedly and coldly: she has quickly regained control of herself, as Proctor points out again with 'she'll suck a scream to stab me with'. ') Notice Francis's 'horrified' comment to John, and John's compassionate reply. This is a great scene for dramatic acting from Proctor. Notice the stage 40 directions carefully, although they are ahnost superfluous. Proctor's words speak of his 'agony', 'his life collapsing about him', 'his great shame', his 'being overcome'.

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