In Act IV of "The Crucible," how have the townspeople been affected by the last several months of court proceedings?

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In Act IV, the entire mood of the town as changed.  Where before they were highly involved and almost ecstatic for the trials, by Act IV they have realized that there is no real basis for the accusations.  One of the major things that brings about this change are the arrests of Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey, all well respected in the town.  The people refuse to accept that they could be in league with the Devil, and according to Parris, are on the verge of riot.  The townspeople have also finally seen the hypocrisy in Parris and Abigail.  Abigail, presumably under intense scrutiny, runs away from home.  Parris opens his door one night to find a threatening knife embedded in his door.  It is obvious from these acts that the trials have greatly affected the townspeople.


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