What are the six major events that occur in Act III of The Crucible?  

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Chase Burns eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many events that occur in Act 3 of The Crucible. If six major events must be specified, then the most important events are:

  1. Giles interrupts the proceedings and is eventually arrested for contempt. Giles is a character who appears predominately in the third act. An elderly man, Giles is cantankerous and loves his wife. He refuses to go along with the witchcraft hysteria and claims men are using the hysteria for their own personal economic gain.
  2. Mary announces she was pretending to be afflicted by witchcraft. This is a crucial moment because Mary presents a rift in the girls' narrative about witchcraft. 
  3. Proctor is questioned about his religious beliefs. Proctor is continuously examined by the court in this act. While many are put on trial, the audience mostly sees the court through Proctor's experience. 
  4. The girls accuse Mary of witchcraft and proceed to be "bewitched" by Mary's spirit. The girls quickly turn on Mary and claim she has possessed them. Mary attempts to stop the girls but eventually joins their hysteria in fear. 
  5. Elizabeth admits Proctor committed adultery with Abigail. Elizabeth looks to Proctor for signs but ultimately admits he confessed to this sin.   
  6. Hale denounces the proceedings. Throughout the act, Hale is increasingly critical of Danforth and the proceedings. By the end of the act, Hale exits the stage and declares he is quitting the court.
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are some additional important events that I would submit:

  1. We learn that Elizabeth Proctor has told the magistrates that she is pregnant.  This will keep her from being executed until the baby is delivered.  Danforth doesn't immediately believe that she is telling the truth, but she is.
  2. Francis Nurse submits a list of ninety one individuals who have signed and attested to the innocence and good character of Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Proctor, and Martha Corey.  Danforth wishes to arrest all of these individuals and bring them to court to submit to questioning. 
  3. John Proctor accuses Abigail of attempted murder.  He publicly calls her a whore and admits to his affair with her as evidence of her motive to accuse Elizabeth Proctor.
  4. Abigail and the other girls turn on Mary Warren and accuse her of witchcraft as a result of her testimony against them.  She claims to see a yellow bird who wants to tear her face.
  5. Elizabeth lies to the court in order to protect John's reputation, but he's already told the truth to Danforth.  Her lie makes it look like John is lying, and so his testimony against Abigail is tainted and doubted.  
  6. Finally, Reverend Hale attempts to stand up to the court, but his pleas fall on deaf ears.  He believes that John Proctor is telling the truth and that the court is corrupt.
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The Crucible

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