In the original version of The Crucible, published in 1953, a second scene for Act II was written but Arthur Miller decided to take it from the future editions that came after that time.
A reason Arthur Miller might have removed this scene from the play was that it showed the readers too much information, which would have given the readers too much about what would happen later on in the play and it might have had disinterested the readers into continuing reading. The Act II scene, which was taken off from the play, would have changed the outlook that the read had on The Crucible and its characters, like Abigail’s character.Abigail would have been viewed differently after this scene because they would feel pity for her. Arthur Miller made a good decision in taking out that extra scene from Act II, after continuing the publishing of the other Crucible’s plays. Arthur Miller used a lot of details when writing the Act II Scene ii. This would have led the readers with too much information that would give away the end of the play.
The conversation between John Proctor and Abigail Williams tells the audience what their plans and motives are for the future.John ends up telling Abigail that he was going confess the affair and prove to the court that she was faking the whole thing and that she needed to tell them that Elizabeth was innocent and she knew about the needle in the poppet and that she had been lying all along. “Abigail: What will you tell? You will confess to fornication? In the court? Proctor: If you will have it so, so I will tell it! ” (p. 158).
If Miller had let this scene in the Act when John had confessed it would have not made such an impact on Abigail as it did because if she had know he would have confessed she would have come up with a lie to protect herself from it.Proctor also threatens Abigail to tell the court how it is all a bunch of lies and she has never really seen any spirits, “Proctor: You will tell the court you are blind to spirits; you cannot see them anymore, and you will never cry witchery again, or I will make you famous for the whore you are! ” (p. 158). If Arthur Miller had left these scene on the act it would have exposed too much information about what would be coming up next and the readers would not be surprised then with the things that happened in the play.The reader shouldn’t be given the whole information of a play in one act there should be more suspense and exciting things happening on the future acts for the readers to enjoy the play. If the reader already knows how the play is going to end and as they are reading it they realize that it is all being repetitive they would just stop reading the play because there would be no “cliff hanger” for them to get excited about in the continuation of the reading.
Abigail’s character in this removed scene can give the reader conflicting thoughts about who she really is and how she should be viewed throughout the rest of the play.In this scene Abigail seems like she does not know the difference between the reality and her fantasy. Abigail since the beginning of the play is viewed as a clever but dishonest character but in Act II, Scene ii she just seems like a little girl who is trapped in her own world and doesn’t know how to get what she wants without lying some more. Abigail starts to believe on her own lies about witchcraft, “Abigail: No, this is your wife pleading, your sniveling, envious wife! This is Rebecca’s voice, Martha Corey’s voice. You were no hypocrite! ” (p. 158). he was so sure that her lies where truth that she forgot the reality and how her actions where causing people their lives.
This scene can confuse the readers into thinking that Abigail was just a young girl who needed help. Abigail would have been viewed as if she was becoming mentally instable and that all the lies and events were catching up to her mind by making her go crazy. The readers would then not be able to view Abigail as a deceitful girl in the later Acts. In Act III Abigail shows that she can convince people of anything she wants and that she had control and power over the villagers.If Act II scene ii was on the play Abigail would have not been surprised with John’s confection of the affair in the public and she would have had time to prepare for all the “surprises” that she was going to face and then the villagers who were in court would have probably not have started to thought the fact that they were just making all of this up. Abigail then would also have somewhat known that John would have not just given up with a defeat and that he would have fought and have tried his best to find away to put a stop Abigail’s and the other girl’s lies.
As you can see the end of The Crucible would have changed entirely if the Act II, Scene ii was kept in the play. The play would sound too repetitive if Arthur Miller had kept that scene ii of Act II there would have been no surprise or any “excitement” in the Acts after this Act. With this extra scene that was removed Abigail’s character would have been viewed differently after that scene. People would have viewed Abigail differently after this scene if it was placed back in the play.Abigail would have been viewed as a little girl who was lost in her own mind and who believed her own lies getting lost in her fantasies and forgetting the actual reality.
Arthur Miller made a great choice in leaving Act II, Scene ii out of The Crucible. Without that scene the readers where able to continue their reading and still have something good and exciting for them that they had no idea that was going to happen and where able to see the characters the way they really were meant to be portrayed as.