What is the plot of Act III of "The Crucible"? Does it foreshadow future events?What kind of audience appeal does it have?

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aoibhinn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act III of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" focuses on the depositions of Giles Corey and Mary Warren. Mary has been brought to the court by John Proctor, since it is through her actions that his wife, Elizabeth, has been arrested. In this act we meet Deputy Govenor Danforth for the first time. He is a harsh and ruthless judge, one who follows ever last letter of the law. Mary Warren confesses that the girls had been lying and making false accusations of witchcraft. Danforth calls all of the girls into the court and asks Abigail if these accusations are true. Abigail pretends that a cold wind takes over her to distract the proceedings. Proctor, unable to take it any longer, reveals that he had been having an affair with Abigail, and that she accused his wife out of spite. He touts the honesty of Elizabeth, an example of foreshadowing and irony, for when she is brought in to testify, she lies to protect Proctor. There is chaos in the courtroom as the girls yet again pretend to see something that is not there, this time a yellow bird who they claim is Mary. Mary, under intense pressure, loses her will to tell the truth and recants her confession. Proctor then proclaims that God is dead, leading to his arrest.

This act appeals to audiences of all kinds. People find the action compelling, and easily relate to the ideas presented, such as lying to protect someone, and being willing to die or be severely punished so that another may go free.