How do Reverend Parris and Rebecca Nurse fall victims of hysteria in "The Crucible"?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverand Parris falls victim to the hysteria sweeping Salem in Act IV of "The Crucible".  It is in this act that it is revealed that Abigail and Mercy Lewis have run away with all of Parris' money and will never return.  When word of this gets out, Parris finds a daggar stabbed into the door of his home.  Because the witchcraft initiated at his home and since the leader of the accusers happens to have been his neice, he seems to be blamed for the problem at this point by some members of Salem.  It is at this point that he goes to Danforth and the court and requests that the hangings of Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey be postponed.

Rebecca Nurse falls victim to this hysteria in Act II when she is taken away to jail.  The Putnams accused rebecca of the "marvelous and supernatural murder of the Putnam's babies."  (Act II).  Apparently, the jealousy that the Putnams felt toward Rebecca because she had 11 children and 26 grandchildren and they only had one child was enough for them to accuse her of witchcraft which eventually lead to her hanging at the end of the play.