The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Why did Arthur Miller, the author of "The Crucible," cut out Act 2, scene 2, in his play?

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Perhaps Arthur Miller ultimately excluded this scene because, in some ways, it makes Abigail seem somewhat sympathetic, and that would be very confusing for the audience. Miller needs a clear villain, someone on whom the trials can be blamed (like he blamed Senator Joseph McCarthy for the HUAC hearings that ruined careers and livelihoods), and this scene problematizes Abigail's motives. Initially, in act 2, we understand absolutely that Abigail is trying to frame Elizabeth Proctor for witchcraft so that she can have John Proctor to herself. However, when she's alone with John in act 2, scene 2, some thirty-six days later, she says,

My spirit's changed entirely. I ought be given Godly looks when I suffer for them as I do [....]. Why look at my leg. I'm holes all over from their damned needles and pins. The jab your wife gave me's not healed yet, y'know [....]. I think sometimes she pricks it open again while I sleep.

At this point, Abigail seems to be believing her own stories. The stage...

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