Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview

ACT TWO

THE COMMON ROOM of Proctor's house, eight days later.

At the right is a door opening on the fields outside. A fireplace is at the left, and behind it a stairway leading upstairs. It is the low, dark, and rather long living room of the time. As the curtain rises, the room is empty. From above, ELIZABETH is heard softly singing to the children. Presently the door opens and JOHN PROCTOR enters, carrying his gun. He glances about the room as he comes toward the fireplace, then halts for an instant as he hears her singing. He continues on to the fireplace, leans the gun against the wall as he swings a pot out of the fire and smells it. Then he lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased. He reaches to a cupboard, takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot. As he is tasting again, her footsteps are heard on the stair. He swings the pot into the fireplace and goes to a basin and washes his hands and face. ELIZABETH enters.

ELIZABETH. What keeps you so late? It's almost dark.

PROCTOR. I were planting far out to the forest edge.

ELIZABETH. Oh, you're done then.

PROCTOR. Aye, the farm is seeded. The boys asleep?

ELIZABETH. They will be soon. [And she goes to the fireplace, proceeds to ladle up stew in a dish.]

PROCTOR. Pray now for a fair summer.

ELIZABETH. Aye.

PROCTOR. Are you well today?

ELIZABETH. I am. [She brings the plate to the table, and, indicating the food] It is a rabbit.

PROCTOR [going to the table]. Oh, is it! In Jonathan's trap?

ELIZABETH. No, she walked into the house this afternoon; I found her sittin' in the corner like she come to visit.

PROCTOR. Oh, that's a good sign walkin' in.

ELIZABETH. Pray God. It hurt my heart to strip her, poor rabbit.

[She sits and watches him taste it.]

PROCTOR. It's well seasoned.

ELIZABETH [ blushing with pleasure]. I took great care. She's tender?

PROCTOR. Aye. [He eats. She watches him.] I think we'll see green fields soon. It's warm as blood beneath the clods.

ELIZABETH. That's well.

[ PROCTOReats, then looks up.]

PROCTOR. If the crop is good I'll buy George Jacob's heifer. How would that please you?

-663-

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PrÆCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CÉLimÈne, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CÉLimÈne, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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