Please make sure these questions are COMPLETE.
Act One Understanding Questions
1.What happened in the woods the night before Act One begins?
2.How did the events come to light?
3.Why do Betty and Ruth behave as they do?
4.Why is the town so stirred up by these events?
5.Are the girls actually guilty of witchcraft?
6.What is Reverend Parris’ first reaction to the crisis?
7.What reason does Ann Putnam have to be resentful?
8.How was she involved in events in the forest?
9.What reason does Thomas Putnam have to be resentful?
10.Why do the girls argue about whether or not to tell the truth?
11.How does Abigail eventually get her way?
12.Comment on Abigail, Betty Ruth, Mercy, Tituba and Mary’s mental states in this scene.
Act One Analysis Questions
1.Find three pieces of evidence to show how Tituba is shown to be an outsider from the very start of the play.
2.Already, we see that Salem is a town full of conflicts. Identify 3 examples of individuals/groups in conflict in scene one and provide quotations.
3.The audience are introduced to Abigail Williams in scene one. She does not behave like a typical girl of her age and society. Name three ways in which this is shown to be true.
4.Are there any reasons to feel sympathy for Abigail?
5.By the end of the scene, the main players could choose to put an end to proceedings. It is this choice that allows the drama to escalate. Identify the course of action available to each and comment on why you think they don’t take it. (Abigail, Putnam, Parris and The Girls)
6.Miller shows how quickly lies and gossip can corrupt people. Provide three quotations to show that this is happening already in Salem.
- Miller’s brief prose insert about John paints a vivid picture. What information are we given? Use bullet points.
2. John Proctor is described by Miller on p27 as a sinner who ‘has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud’.
a) What evidence is there of how he has sinned in the next few pages?
b) Why does he consider himself guilty of ‘fraud’?
3. How does he feel about his sin? Quote and explain.
4. a) From the information we are given, compile a series of events that outlines the affair from beginning to end (you may have to look back to scene one fro some information).
b) What does Proctor’s treatment of Abigail in this scene tell us about his character?
5) What is his initial reaction to the reports of ‘witchcraft?’
6) How does Proctor explain his absence from Church to Parris? Quote and explain.
7) What is revealed about the relationship between Proctor and Parris?
8) What does this tell us about Proctor’s character?
9) What is revealed about the relationship between Proctor and Putnam?
10) What does this tell us about Proctor’s character?
End of Act One Questions
- When Reverend Hale first arrives, he enters Parris’ home carrying something. What is he carrying and why would the author choose this object for this character?
- Giles tells Hale that John Proctor doesn’t believe in witches. What is John Proctor’s response?
- Rebecca Nurse makes a comment to Mrs. Putnam before she leaves Parris’ home to go home. What is it and what is she implying?
- Giles asks Hale about his wife’s behaviour. What is he concerned about?
- There is a disagreement about the kettle in the forest. Who disagrees and what about?
- In Act 1, when Abigail feels cornered by Hale, she shifts the blame. Who does she blame and for what?
- Does Tituba come up with the idea of other townspeople talking to the devil? Why do you think she confesses?
- What was Tituba’s initial motivation for accusing others? Second? Third?
- What was the girls’ initial motivation for accusing others? Second? Third?