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How Does Miller Build up the Conflict in Later Parts of Act 3 of the Crucible?

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Miller does this by introducing a series of characters (and events) which then leads to the climax of Hale quitting the court and John Proctor declaring that "God is dead".

He introduces Mary into the scene. She is advised by Danforth that she is condemned either way. Either she is "lying now" or "lying in court, and in either case you have committed perjury and you will go to jail for it." Mary seems resigned when she says "I cannot lie no more. I am with God, I am with God". However, Danforth is not convinced and brings in Abigail and the girls to re-examine her. This builds up the conflict between Mary and Abigail.

The introduction of Abigail into the scene for the purpose of scrutinising her credibility because she had danced in the woods (pg. 84) adds to the dramatic effectiveness to the conflict build-up. For once, readers think that there may be hope for a change of events for the better. However, the inability of Mary to faint is seized by Abigail as a weakness, and so she turns the table against Mary by having her look like a witch by repeating her words. This unexpected outcome which snowballed to witchery in the courtroom builds up the conflict tenfold.

In addition, Abigail threatens Danforth before that. It is when Abigail is examined (pg. 87) by Danforth that she escalates the conflict, turning it in her favour, especially when Danforth says that "the spirits you have seen are illusion only, some deception may cross your mind".

The tension continues to build because Proctor brings up yet another conflict - his affair with Abigail - in order to give Mary credit in what she says. Abigail's reason to frame Mary is then seen in the light of her possessiveness of Proctor. Suspense in created when Danforth introduces Elizabeth Proctor to confirm the affair and this complicates the conflict when, trying to protect her husband, she lies and discredits herself and her husband. Proctor is now seen as a man who is challenging the court and Elizabeth a liar. Coupled with Abigail's "bewitchment" of Mary, the conflict is successfully built up with Proctor's extreme despair, his lack of faith in God at this point and Hale's loss of faith in court, successfully prolonging the conflict.

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