In act 4 of The Crucible, why have Abigail and Mercy fled town?

Expert Answers info

Lizette Eaves eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2009

write569 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The beginning of act 4 shows how much Salem has changed since act 1. The dark act opens at the jail, where Herrick, who was once proud of his job in the trials, now comforts himself with alcohol, checking in on prisoners Tituba and Sarah Goode. The two ladies have not been heard from since the beginning of the play. Then, they were praised for their confessions and promised they would be set free, since they repented. However, now the women realize their actions have sent other innocent people to death. Cold and depressed, they fantasize about joining the devil in warm Barbados.

Later, Cheever tells the court about the cows roaming the town. While a group of cows seems like a small note, the fact that there is no one left to take care of them, or to tend the crops, demonstrates how far the trials have gone. In an effort to save the town, most of its citizens have been condemned, and many have been sentenced to death.

There be so many cows wandering the highroads, now their masters are in...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,245 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ollie Kertzmann, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookM.A. from Radford University


calendarEducator since 2017

write1,383 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,655 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,721 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial