The theme that stands out the most to me would be mass hysteria. Mass hysteria is what caused Salem to temporarily fall apart. The Puritans were very strict and religious and the idea that witches could be present within the community drove people to make and believe any accusation. This mass hysteria was based off of a false accusation made by Abigail Williams and is what lead to the downfall of Salem. Everyone dismissed logic and reasoning within their arguments. Hysteria in the crucible becomes increasingly worse because characters like Abigail and Parris benefit from it. It allows for the townspeople to react to anything and give in to their emotions. This causes things like neighbors calling each other witches. Fear drove citizens to do what they needed to protect their best interests. John Proctor recognizes this as he says, “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” John is one of the few who knew what Abigail was up too from the start. Here he tells Hale that the people of Salem should put more focus on to who is accusing as opposed to who is being accused. Mass hysteria is dangerous and allows people to think irrationally. Not only is everyone terrified but also now some see the opportunity to manipulate the court for personal gain. Abigail uses mass hysteria to gain control over her community and her peers. The young girls in “The Crucible” are a good example of how mass psychological hysteria can affect a group of people.
I would choose to add this scene to the play. It highlights Abigail’s insane behavior and gives her more depth as a character. It also adds more to her relationship with John Proctor. When he wants to see her in the woods, she thinks that she can seduce him and everything will be right in her world again. She loves him a lot, and her obsession grows worse with time. By the time the trials are over, Abigail thinks that her and John will get married as she tells him, “I will make quite a wife when the world is white again.” Her dangerous obsession with him also becomes even clearer while they have this conversation. Abigail will stop at nothing in order to get what she wants. She will not only manipulate others but even her own body in order to give herself more credibility. She also shows him her injuries, which, she tells him were acquired by loose spirits set out to get her. As an audience member, one would realize that these injuries were self-inflicted and Abigail seems crazy. She so desperately wants to be John’s wife that she’s willing to do whatever it takes, not taking into consideration the amount of damage she will inflict. John only wanted to warn Abigail that he planned on confessing to the court. She thinks that the hypocritical town is to blame for his behavior. When this scene is added to the rest of the play, it helps you get inside Abigail’s head. She seems pretty pathetic when she meets up with John but it is only a front. Abigail truly is capable of a lot of damage and I think that it is important for the audience to recognize that. I can also see how this scene would hurt the play as it draws attention to Abby’s poor mental health but I feel like this should be embraced rather than deleted.
I think that this scene would have been perfect for the crucible because it really shows the
hatred towards each other since abigail accuses elizabeth of witchcraft, and how scared he is
for his wife, cause she might be hanged. in the play she explains that she would do anything
even murder to be with john. He feels guilty about what happened to Elizabeth that would also
tell how quilty feels. He tells to move on cause it was just a one night thing. it would also tell the
audience that he talked to abigail about that night. it also tell about what happened after the play
how they say abigail went to new york to become a prostitute.