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Outline all of the evidence of witchcraft in Act 1 of "The Crucible".

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kodysgink | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 23, 2008 at 2:53 PM via web

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Outline all of the evidence of witchcraft in Act 1 of "The Crucible".

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aoibhinn | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:20 PM (Answer #1)

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First, Parris discovers the girls dancing in the woods.  While they are dancing, they are also boiling something in a pot.  Abigail claims it is just a soup, but Parris claim he saw something jump in.  Both Ruth Putnam and Betty Parris a near comatose.  When Betty wakes, she begins screaming hysterically and claiming that she will fly to her dead mother.  She then reveals that Abigail had performed a spell to try to kill Elizabeth Proctor.  Finally, at the end of Act Two, Tituba confesses under duress and as if a spell is broken, the girls begin to speak, crying out the names of "witches" in the town.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:59 AM (Answer #2)

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The evidence in Act 1 consists of several different situations that are attributed to witchcraft.

1. Betty Parris and Ruth Putnam are both sick and the doctor does not know what is wrong with either of them.

2. Ann Putnam has lost seven infant babies and she believes that witchcraft is involved.

3. Tituba, the black slave from Barbados who works for Rev Parris has brought the young girls of the town into the woods to dance because the Puritan Lifestyle does not permit any form of entertainment other than reading the Bible. 

4. While in the woods dancing, the girls did conjure spirits, at the request of Ann Putnam, her daughter Ruth was trying to communicate with her dead sisters.

5. Abigail drinks blood as a charm to influence the death of Elizabeth Proctor. 

6. Dancing in the woods is sinful and considered to be the work of the devil.  Rev. Parris finds the girls and sees one naked.

7. Tituba confesses to witchcraft at the end of Act I, which requires her to name names.  She names Goody Good and Goody Osburn as having been seen with the Devil.

8. To get herself out of trouble, Abigail Williams admits that she consorted with the Devil.  The other girls begin screaming the same thing and also start naming other people they saw with the Devil.

9. The strongest evidence in Act I are the confessions.  Once people confess to witchcraft it is given a level of credibility. 

10. As part of the confession process, the naming of others becomes the second best evidence of witchcraft.

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