What Happens in Act Four of The Crucible's Script?


Quick Answer

In act four of "The Crucible," Proctor finally agrees to confess to the made-up crime that he conducted witchcraft with the devil. The town judge, Danforth, demands that Proctor sign a confession admitting to the crime. Proctor is then sentenced to death.

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Full Answer

Proctor signs the confession but immediately rips it up when he hears that Danforth plans to post it on the door of the town church. Proctor further refuses to name any other townspeople as accomplices or otherwise guilty of witchcraft as well.

One of the most-important parts of the act is the conversation between Proctor and his wife Elizabeth in which Proctor eventually decides to confess. The conversation between the two characters brings closure to their relationship. Proctor was guilty of committing adultery against Elizabeth earlier in the play. During the pair's conversation in Proctor's cell, he states that he is going to confess to the crimes of witchcraft in order to put an end to the witch hunt. Proctor says that he is already guilty of lying to Elizabeth about his affair, so one more lie doesn't matter.

Elizabeth forgives Proctor for his act of adultery and tells him that he is still a good man, regardless of if he confesses or not. This gives the Proctor the fortitude to offer his confession to save the other falsely accused people. Proctor is then sentenced to death by hanging.

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