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I want to open myself! . . . I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus!

I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osborn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! This outpouring from Abigail is spoken at the end of Act I, after the slave Titubas confession to witchcraft. Abigail has spent the entire first act fretting desperately about the possibility of being accused and disgraced for having cast spells in the forest with her friends. Titubas confession, however, offers a way out, which Abigail seizes. She confesses to having seen and spoken to the Devil, which, according to Salems doctrine, means that she is emancipated and free from guilt. As the next step in clearing herself of sin, she accuses many others of witchery, thus transferring the shame and blame from her onto to those she names, many of whom have a better reputation than she. Seeing Abigails success, the other girls follow suit, and with this pattern of hysterical, selfserving accusations, the witch trials are underway and quickly spiral out of control.

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! Proctor exclaims these lines at the very end of the play, whilst wrestling with his conscience over whether to confess to witchcraft, thereby saving himself from the gallows. Reverend Hale and the judges have nearly persuaded him to do so, but the final straw is his signature on the confession, which he cannot bring himself to write. This mainly illustrates his obsession with his good name. Reputation is extremely important in Salem, where public and private morality are indistinguishable, and it seems that Proctor would rather hang than admit to sin. This reluctance also reflects his desire not to dishonour his fellow prisoners; he would not be able to live with himself knowing that other innocents died while he cowered at deaths door and fled. Early in the play, Proctors desire to maintain his flawless reputation keeps him from testifying against Abigail, with whom he committed adultery. Now, however, he has come to an understanding of what a good reputation really means and what course of action it compelsnamely, that he tell the truth, not lie to save himself.

I beg you, sir; I beg yousee her for what she is. . . . She thinks to dance with me on my wifes grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whores vengeance. . . This is from Act III, when Proctor finally confesses his affair with Abigail, after attempting, to no avail, to expose her lies without revealing their tryst. He knows from the outset that the witch trials are no more than Abigails revenge on him for ending their affairbut he shies away from making that knowledge public because it would cause his own disgrace as well as hers. This scene, in the Salem courtroom, marks the climax of the play, in which Proctors desire for justice exceeds his care of his reputation. This re-prioritization of values enables him to do what is necessary. However, his attempt at honesty ultimately backfires and destroys him: instead of Abigail and the witch trials being exposed as a con, Proctor is called a liar and then accused of witchcraft by the court.

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