In The Crucible, how has Parris changed by Act IV?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The figure of Parris that the audience is presented with in Act IV is very different from the figure of Parris who is placed at the heart of the witch trials. Instead of his confidence and power, Parris is presented as a broken man. The news that his niece, who was at the centre of the witch trials, has ran away and robbed him of all of his money, leaves him desperately afraid. He reports to Danforth that he found a dagger in his door, and he fears that he will be killed:

You cannot hang this sort. There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night!

Parris is therefore presented in this Act as a broken man who has lost all of his swagger and confidence. He is a man who recognises that any power and respect he once commanded has now ended, and as a result he realises he is hated by those in Salem and his life is in danger.


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