John Proctor begs Herrick not to put chains on Elizabeth as she is being arrested and taken to jail after being accused of witchcraft. Despite John and Elizabeth Proctor's entirely rational explanation for Abigail Williams' accusation, they finally understand that there is nothing that they can do, and that Elizabeth is to be taken to jail. Abigail has succeeded in setting Elizabeth up to be seen as a witch--Abigail watched Mary Warren sew a "poppet" (a rag doll) while in court, and noticed she had left a needle inside. During one of Abigail's pretenses of being attacked by witches, she falls to the floor screaming, and a needle is found sticking in her stomach. She claims Elizabeth Proctor put it there. Elizabeth realizes there is nothing she can do except go with the authorities. John finally realizes this, too, but when he also realizes that chains are being put on his wife, he pleads:
Damn you, man, you will not chain her! Off with them! I'll not have it! I will not have her chained!
However, Herrick says that he must chain "them all," and Elizabeth goes to the jail in chains.