What are some examples of hysteria in The Crucible?
One of the first examples of hysteria is made evident when the Putnams arrive at the Parrises' house. Right away, Mrs. Putnam is described as "shiny-eyed" and she wants to know how high Betty flew. When Reverend Parris denies that his daughter did fly, Mrs. Putnam exclaims, "Why, it's sure she did. Mr. Collins saw her goin' over Ingersoll's barn, and come down light as a bird, he says!" This kind of rumor is only perpetuated by something like hysteria. People's emotions have to be running quite high in order for them to believe that an otherwise normal little girl could actually fly. This shows us, right away, that the town is already in the grip of hysteria.
Next, at the end of Act One, Betty and Abigail have become hysterical; at least Betty is described as "calling out hysterically" and her emotions seem to have completely run away with her logic or ability to consider the consequences of what she's saying. She has "a fever in her eyes," according to stage direction.
By the beginning of Act Three, the sheer level of noise in the courtroom seems to suggest that the town has devolved into a state of hysteria. Their "voices rise in excitement," and when Giles Corey accuses Thomas Putnam of wrongdoing, "A roaring goes up from the people." The Puritans were, generally, a pretty orderly, subdued people. The fact, now, that there is so much shouting and intense emotion indicates that a change has taken place. They are being ruled by this emotion now, and not logic.