How is dialogue used in Acts I and II to establish plot and character? What do we learn of happenings and relationships through them?Illustrate your answer with refeences.

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dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Because this is a play and is meant to be acted out on stage, the dialogue is used to establish plot and character throughout the entire play, not just in Acts 1 & 2.  However, specifically in Act 1, each of the main characters are introduced and the words that they use establish who they are as characters in the play.  For example, most of the dialogue used by Rev. Parris establishes that he fears his congregation and does not want anything to ruin his reputation.  Almost every time he speaks he mentions or eludes to this.  Similarly, the Putnams are hostile towards everyone and everything throughout Act1; this personality trait continues for these characters throughout the play.  In Act 2, the same is true for the Proctors.  This act gives the audience a view of the lives of the Proctors and tells the audience just how distant the relationship is between John and Elizabeth Proctor.  Just as the dialogue in these two acts establishes the character development, it does the same for the plot, since the characters’ personalities and ideologies forward the plot. 

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