‘The Crucible’ is a fascinating play that draws parallels between the climate of fear and paranoia surrounding the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s and the political fear of the spread of Communism in the mid-20th Century. Read the Act Four Summary and the Epilogue of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible below.
Thanks for reading! If you find this article useful, you can take a look at our full course on The Crucible.
For all our English Literature and Language courses, click here.
THE CRUCIBLE – ACT FOUR SUMMARY:
- The act is set many months later.
- Proctor, Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse and others are all in prison, sentenced to execution.
- Hale tries hard to get the prisoners to admit guilt in order to save their lives.
- Elizabeth has a touching moment alone with Proctor, where she admits her own faults and part to play in the affair. She also updates him on the state of the town. Hundreds have been accused, and Giles Corey was executed by being pressed to death with stones. She urges Proctor to forgive himself and be rid of guilt about the situation.
- Proctor is aware that he is not refusing to confess because of religious beliefs, as others may do, but instead out of spite and anger at the injustice of the situation.
- He almost confesses – he signs an affidavit ( a written statement of confession), but then at the last minute tears it up rather than allowing it to be used.
- As a result, Proctor is sent to hang.
THE CRUCIBLE EPILOGUE:
- Parris is voted out of office, and disappears from Salem. No one knows where he goes or hears from him again.
- There are rumours that Abigail has become a prostitute in Boston.
- Elizabeth remarries.
- The farms that belonged to the convicted townsfolk are left bare.