Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Close reading

Students use a text extract from the final lines of Act 3 for close reading. Read the final section of Act 3 from:
PROCTOR: Mary, tell the Governor...

Name TWO ways the playwright has used punctuation to increase the dramatic impact of this passage. Provide an example of each and comment briefly but specifically on the intended effect of each.

Name and give an example of ONE way the playwright has used sentence structure to show conflict in this passage. Comment briefly on the intended impact.

Miller replicates the speech of 1692 Massachusetts in the following ways:

  • verb forms
  • prepositions
  • archaisms
  • sentence structure

Comment on the connotations of colour in the extract.

Choose TWO of these features and using examples from the passage indicate how they help achieve this purpose. 
Consider the following uses of imagery from the extract:

  • his eyes were like coals and his fingers claw my neck
  • A fire, a fire is burning. I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face
  • Identify the type of imagery used in each quote and comment on the intended effect in context.

Comment on the structure and impact on an audience of the following sentences.

  • I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face.
  • You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore.

The Crucible Act Three

PROCTOR: Mary, tell the Governor what they - [He has hardly got a word out, when, seeing him coming for her, she rushes out of his reach, screaming in horror.]

MARY WARREN: Don't touch me - don't touch me! [At which the girls halt at the door.]

PROCTOR: [Astonished]: Mary!

MARY WARREN [Pointing at PROCTOR]: You're the Devil's man! [He is stopped in his track.]

PARRIS: Praise God!

GIRLS: Praise God!

PROCTOR: [Numbed]: Mary, how - ?

MARY WARREN: I'll not hang with you! I love God, I love God.

DANFORTH: [To MARY]: He bid you do the Devil's work?

MARY WARREN: [Hysterically, indicating PROCTOR]: He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sign, to -

DANFORTH: Sign what?

PARRIS: The Devil's book? He come with a book?

MARY WARREN: [Hysterically, pointing at PROCTOR, fearful of him]: My name, he want my name. 'I'll murder you', he says, 'if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court', he says!

[DANFORTH'S head jerks toward PROCTOR, shock and horror in his face.]

PROCTOR: [turning, appealing to HALE]: Mr Hale!

MARY WARREN [her sobs beginning]: He wake me every night, his eyes were like coals and his fingers claw my nick, and I sign, I sign....

HALE: Excellency, this child's gone wild!

PROCTOR [as DANFORTH'S wide yes pour on him]: Mary, Mary!

MARY WARREN [screaming at him]: No I love God; I go your way no more. I love God. [Sobbing, she rushes to ABIGAIL]. Abby, Abby, I'll never hurt you more!

[They all watch, as ABIGAIL, out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing MARY to her, and then looks up to DANFORTH.]

DANFORTH [to PROCTOR]: What are you? [PROCTOR is beyond speech in his anger.] You are combined with anti-Christ, are you not? I have seen your power; you will not deny it! What say you, Mister?

HALE: Excellency -

DANFORTH: I will have nothing from you, Mr Hale! [To PROCTOR] Will you confess yourself befouled with Hell, or do you keep that black allegiance yet? What say you?

PROCTOR: [his mind wild, breathless]: I say - I say - God is dead!

PARRIS: Hear it, hear it!

PROCTOR: [laughs insanely, then]: A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men our of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you known in all your black hearts that this be fraud - God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!

DANFORTH: Marshall! Take him and Corey with him to the jail!

HALE [starting across to the door]: I denounce these proceedings!

PROCTOR: You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!

HALE: I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court! [He slams the door to the outside behind him.]

DANFORTH: [calling to him in a fury]: Mr Hale! Mr Hale!

Published on: 07 Dec 2010