Explain what happens in Act 3 from Danforth’s point of view- and show

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Explain what happens in Act 3 from Danforth’s point of view- and show how Arthur Miller makes it clear to the audience that Danforth is not only misguided but deliberately ignores any evidence that casts doubt on the stories of Abigail Williams GCSE English Literature 20th Century Drama Coursework, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller Essay Question: Explain what happens in Act 3 from Danforth’s point of view- and show how Arthur Miller makes it clear to the audience that Danforth is not only misguided but deliberately ignores any evidence that casts doubt on the stories of Abigail Williams and the other girls. Danforth, as “the Deputy Governor of the Province” of Massachusetts is an extremely powerful and influential man, a representative of the King of England. He represents the combined authority of church and state in this theocratic society of the day. We do not meet Danforth until the start of Act 3, although Arthur Miller mentions him briefly at the beginning of Act 2 not by name but by his office. Danforth is not one of the main characters in the play but he is certainly the most controversial. Arthur Miller makes us aware of how this man is a paradox, but I shall return to this shortly. In the first two Acts of this play, set in Salem 1692, Arthur Miller introduces us to the main characters and the events that lead to this witch- hunt. He describes the people of Salem as a “sect of fanatics whose creed forbade anything resembling a theatre or vain enjoyment” and a “holiday from work meant that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.” Their outlook and self enforced discipline did help them to survive a life, which I can only imagine as very harsh, as some of the first settlers in America. These people lived by very strict rules and regulations, and were not allowed to express their feelings physically or verbally. The events that lead to the witch- hunt were, in my view, the bubble bursting- such repression found an outlet! Arthur Miller states “the witch- hunt was not mere repression” but a “long overdue opportunity for everyone to express publicly his guilt and sins under the accusations against victims. It suddenly became possible to speak of matters which were forbidden in an ordinary way.” Also “hatred of neighbours would now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken.” “Old scores would be settled,” and all this under the umbrella of morality and self righteousness. Before the start of the play Reverend Parris has caught a group of girls, led by his niece Abigail Williams, dancing in the woods- a

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