Discussion Questions, Act II

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  1. Subtext means the action going on underneath (sub) the surface of the text. The difference between what the characters say and what they are thinking and feeling. What do you think is the subtext (what is going on underneath the surface) of Elizabeth and John Proctor’s conversation at the beginning of this scene?
  2. How many judges are now involved in the witch trials?
  3. How many women are currently in jail accused of witchcraft?
  4. What does Elizabeth want John Proctor to do in Salem?
  5. Why is John mad at Elizabeth?
  6. Summarize how you think Elizabeth views John after he cheated on her.
  7. Why do you think John forbids Mary Warren from going to Salem?
  8. Who did Mary Warren accuse of witchcraft in court? Why do you think she did this?
  9. Who does Elizabeth think accused her of witchcraft?
  10. What does John Proctor set out to do at Elizabeth’s request?
  11. Why is Hale visiting Proctor’s home?
  12. Why does Hale question Proctor about how often he goes to church?
  13. Why does Proctor say he doesn’t go to church regularly?
  14. Why does Hale question Proctor about his children’s baptism?
  15. Why does Proctor say his third child isn’t baptized?
  16. Why does Hale have Proctor recite the 10 Commandments?
  17. What is Hale’s response when Proctor forgets one?
  18. What does Proctor tell Hale, at Elizabeth’s urging?
  19. How does Hale respond?
  20. Do Elizabeth and John Proctor believe in witches?
  21. What important information do Giles and Francis Nurse share?
  22. Who is Cheever and why does he show up?
  23. Who charged Elizabeth Proctor?
  24. How does the poppet explain the charge against Elizabeth Proctor?
  25. What is John Proctor’s reaction to the poppet business and why?
  26. Where does Elizabeth go and what promise does John Proctor make?
  27. What does John Proctor want from Mary Warren?
  28. How does Mary Warren respond to this and why?`

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