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Act/Page Quotation Ideas / Point / Analysis / Explanation
p. 17 “No, No, Abby. That’s done with.” Repeating ‘no’ to Abigail emphasises his feelings
p.18 “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time.
But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for
Proctor says this to Abigail. He uses an extreme,
bloody image to emphasise the strength of his
determination never to do this again.
p.22 “This society will not be a bag to swing around your
head, Mr Putnam.”
Proctor is calling out people for what they are;
he sees what the Putnam’s are trying to do.
p.22 “You hardly ever mention God anymore.” Proctor to Parris – revealing that Parris talkings
about Hell and Damnation but never about
God’s charitable side.
p24 “Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell
again? I am sick of Hell!” [Proctor speaking to Parris]
p.31 “I’ve heard you to be a sensible man, Mr Hale. I hope
you’ll leave some of it in Salem.”
Develops the idea that Proctor may think the
village of Salem is going crazy.
p.35 “ I do not think I saw you at Sabbath meeting since
This shows us that Proctor is rarely at church.
p35 “Why then I must find it and join it.” Shows us he is very straight talking.
p41 “Are you well today?” Interested/concerned for Elizabeth and trying to
p.41 Stage Directions describe him tasting the stew, then
state: “He is not quite pleased. He ... takes a pinch of
salt, and drops it into the pot.”
He is not satisfied. Elizabeth lacks in passion.
p42 “I mean to please you, Elizabeth” A sense of Proctor trying to be a good husband,
and trying to make amends. Elizabeth is distant,
only waiting on him as a good wife, giving him
the bare minimum.
p.42 “He gets up, goes to her, kisses her. She receives it.
With a certain disappointment, he returns to the
The stage directions show the awkwardness
between Proctor and Elizabeth.
p.42 “Massachusetts is a beauty in the spring!” Proctor gets romantic; Elizabeth however is
short and abrupt.
p.45 “still an everlasting funeral marches round your
Proctor is still ashamed and guilty for his affair,
and is trying to make it up to Elizabeth. He feels
that she cannot forgive him, and is suspicious of
p.45 “as though I come into a court when I come into this
Proctor is beginning to regret his confession to
p.45 After Proctor asks Elizabeth to look sometimes for
the goodness in him, she says: “I do not judge you.
The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.”
Elizabeth has some insight into how sinful and
guilty John feels over the affair with Abigail.
p.52 “If the crop is good I’ll buy George Jacob’s heifer.
How would that please you?”
He is trying to please Elizabeth.
p.56 “And why not, if they must hang for denyin’ it?
There are them that will swear to anything before
they’ll hang; have you never thought of that?”
Proctor is intelligent and understands the truth
of what is happening.
p.63 “You are a broken minister” Proctor to Hale. Originally Proctor thought Hale
would bring sense to the village instead of
destruction – but Hale is oblivious to the girls’
p.63 “Is the accuser always holy now?” Proctor to Hale. John uses rhetorical questions
to emphasise his point.
p.63 “Were they born this morning as clean as God’s
Proctor pointing out to Hale that the girls might
not be as holy as everyone thinks.
p.63 “Vengeance is walking Salem.” Proctor talking about Abigail’s vengeance.
p.63 “but now the little crazy children are jangling the
keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes
Proctor clearly identifies what is happening. The
kingdom = Salem, and the girls are in control.
p.64 “We will slide together into our pit; you will tell the
court what you know.”
Proctor is prepared to lose his reputation, in
order to save Elizabeth.
p.64 “I will fall like an ocean on that court! Fear nothing
Strong imagery shows the strength of Proctor’s
p.66 “My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts
into your mouth but that goodness will not die for
Proctor’s violent language shows the strength of
his feeling for Elizabeth, and his respect for her.
p.66 “God’s icy wind, will blow!” Proctor speaks to the open sky – the lies will be
revealed. Very religious – Proctor’s sense of
divine justice – idea of the earthly court and the
p.74 “That woman will never lie” Proctor to Danforth. He has complete faith in,
and respect for, his wife Elizabeth.
p.76 “Do that which is good, and no harm shall come to
Proctor to Mary, reassuring Mary that the truth
prevails and won’t get her hurt. It is what the
Angel Raphael said to the boy Tobias.
p.88 “In the proper place – where my beasts are bedded.” Proctor to Danforth. Proctor has profound
shame over the act with Abigail, and so
compares this with the base actions of beasts.
p.89 “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave!” Proctor’s imagery shows his understanding of
Abigail’s true motives.
p.89 “I have rung the doom of my good name” Proctor’s imagery shows how aware he is that
he has given up his reputation, now that he is
concerned with saving Elizabeth and his friends.
p.96 “You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a
Although Proctor is being accused of doing the
Devil’s work, the true situation is the reverse –
they are doing the devil’s work.
p109 “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud.” Proctor to Elizabeth. He does not feel he is good
enough to die with those who have integrity
and so are prepared to die rather than lie.
p.109 “My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man.” Proctor has not forgiven himself and so can still
not see any good in himself.
p.109 Elizabeth to John:
“And yet you’ve not confessed till now. That speak
goodness in you.”
Elizabeth recognises the good in Proctor, even
though he cannot see it.
p.109 Elizabeth to John:
“Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it.”
p111 “if tongues of fire were singeing you you would not!” Proctor uses powerful imagery to show how
strongly he believes in Elizabeth’s good moral
qualities – as opposed to the low opinion he has
p.113 “I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another.” Proctor has integrity – he will condemn himself
but he will not betray others.
p.114 “You will not use me!” Proctor is not prepared to let them use him for
their destructive ends. If he signs, his friends
who are to hang will not be seen as innocent.
p. 115 “Because it is my name ... How may I live without my
Rhetorical question to convey Proctor’s anguish.
p.115 “And there’s your first marvel, that I can.” John has now found the courage that he needs,
to act in accordance with his conscience.
p.116 “I do think I see some shred of goodness in John
Proctor has chosen to die for truth, for his good
reputation, and for those he cares about. He
has found courage. He can at last see some
good in himself, and has forgiven himself his
p.116 Elizabeth, while watching Proctor: “He have his
goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!”
Elizabeth recognises that although Proctor is
losing his life, he has found his goodness and
p.116 “The final drumroll crashes, then heightens
Miller makes effective use of both sound in the
closing moments of the play to heighten the
p.116 “and the new sun is pouring in upon her face” Miller includes a symbol of hope and good
overcoming evil: the morning sun on Elizabeth’s
“The emotion flowing between them prevents
anyone from speaking for an instant.” p 107
“He stands, as though in physical pain” p 109
(in agony) p 110
“In great pain, he turns back to her” p 110
“turns his face to the wall” 112
“His breath heaving with agonised breathing” p114
“a wild terror is rising in him, and a boundless
(with a cry of his whole soul)p115
(hysterically, as though tearing the paper were his
Stage directions are a crucial element in
conveying the tragic hero’s inner conflict during
the play’s climactic final part.