The Crucible Essay Research Paper A cell

The Crucible Essay, Research Paper

A cell in

Salem jail, after Proctor and Rebecca Nurse have been escorted by Herrick,

Danforth, Hathorne and Cheever to their unwelcome fate. Hale and

Elizabeth are left in the cell alone, both are weeping continually for a long

period of time. The drums have ceased and they are left in a deafening silence. The sun pours

in through the window lighting the dark, rat-infested cell, revealing the dirty

stained, scratch covered walls. ? HALE:(He

clears his throat, wipes his eyes, and tries to recover a sense of normality.

He ponders over the events of the past few minutes and then speaks aloud the

thoughts that are going through his head). He will be in a place of happiness

now, Goody Proctor. The forces of the devil will be upon him no more. (Rises up

to face Elizabeth, who sits motionless with her head buried in her hands).ELIZABETH:(She

raises her head slightly, but continues to stare at the black, dusty floor. She

has ceased crying and has a vacant, blank expression on her face). Yes.(She

says in a barely audible whisper)HALE:(Gaining

confidence). You could have stopped it Goody Proctor. (Elizabeth turns to face

him with a look of despair). Now he will be condemned to the noose, and it were

possible for you to prevent it. (Elizabeth widens her eyes, and a frown appears

on her furrowed brow). If only a confession had passed through his lips. If

only you – ELIZABETH:(Angrily,

as though Hale?s words had penetrated her heart with a sharpened sword) Hale!

How could you say that! You know full well that anything I could have said

would not have been heeded by his persecutors. His death had already been

decreed and John would not have sold his soul to the devil to save his life.HALE:(Moves

forward towards Elizabeth and points his finger in a menacing manner) You had

the power to save John. You could have persuaded him to change his beliefs.

What is the benefit of being righteous when the end result was to be hung by

the neck until he was dead. What has been achieved -ELIZABETH:(Interrupting

Hale she too rises from her seat and angrily confronts him). Yes, his soul may

now be in heaven and his strong beliefs in telling the truth may have left a

grieving widow and fatherless children, but we can hold our heads up high in

this community in the knowledge that the name of John Proctor now stands for

everything that is good and honourable.With this

Elizabeth turns away from Hale while she contemplates the virtuous words she

has spoken of her husband and it is with some disdain that she recalls John?s

infidelity with Abigail, but she keeps these sad memories to herself.HALE:(Realizing

that he has upset Elizabeth, his attitude changes, and he moves to console her

by bringing her head to his chest). I am sorry, truly sorry. John was a good

man and he will be sadly missed. (He now realizes that Elizabeth should be left

alone to her sorrow and bids to leave). Elizabeth, I have urgent business to

attend to. You should now go home to your children. They need you more than

ever. I shall go now but if ever you need me, I am at your behest.Hale turns to

leave the room, and walks slowly out through the large wooden door. His

footsteps can be heard down the long corridor.Elizabeth is

now left alone deep in thought. The room is getting darker as the day draws to

an end. She sits her weary body down on the now cold stone bench, and considers

how different the events of the day could have been.ELIZABETH:(Speaking

aloud ). Was Hale right in what he said? Should I have persuaded John not to

tell the truth? (Her face becomes distraught, her eyes narrow and her body

becomes racked with pain) John! John! John! ( She screams) I have forsaken you.

You have gone and I am left with my own self pity. I could have saved you but

now it is too late! (She beats her chest with clenched fists and cries aloud)

There is nothing left for me in this life. How can I face my children since

they will persecute me for the loss of their dear father. My friends will also

turn against me since they too will accuse me of not helping to save John.There is now

but one ray of light entering the cell from the full moon outside. This light

is centred on her pale drawn face and she starts crying hysterically.ELIZABETH: I

cannot face the future without my beloved husband. I must join him.( She then

proceeds to undo her scarf from around her neck, and ties this in the shape of

a noose. She struggles to push the stone bench towards the cell window.

Standing on the bench she places the noose around her neck, and then ties the

end around one of the bars of the cell window.) John, I am coming to join

you.(Now the pained expression disappears from her face as she contemplates her

fate. With new found strength, she kicks the bench away from beneath her feet,

and she falls agonizingly as the noose tightens around her neck).In her half

conscious state, she hears the sound of voices becoming increasingly louder.

She hears Danforth speaking.DANFORTH: You

have but five minutes to say your good-byes, John Proctor, and no more.PROCTOR: I

thank you sir for these precious minutes.( Elizabeth then hears? John calling her name and his footsteps

running towards the cell). Elizabeth! Elizabeth, my beloved! Danforth has

allowed me one last kiss before I meet my maker.( He enters the cell and sees

Elizabeth hanging from the cell window and cries in anguish. Grief stricken, he

screams) My God, why have you forsaken me.(He rushes to Elizabeth and attempts

to remove the noose. Elizabeth opens her eyes and looks longingly into John?s

distraught face)ELIZABETH:

John (She whispers hoarsely, and wrongly believing that John has been

reprieved, she croaks)I give you to Abigail now and I ask you both to take care

of our children.Danforth drags

John Proctor out of the cell with John crying hysterically. The lights go out



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