Examples of Irony in the Crucible

Elizabeth ProctorDANFORTH, reaches out and holds her face, then: Look at me! To your own knowledge, has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery? In a crisis of indecision she cannot speak. Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher! ELIZABETH, faintly: No, sir.(Miller, 45) Dramatic Irony: Elizabeth denies that her husband committed adultery to try to protect him but she doesn’t know that he already confessed to it. Then she is taken away because she lied in court and John tells her he had already confessed as she is being taken out.
John ProctorPROCTOR: Thou shalt not bear false witness. He is stuck. He counts back on his fingers, knowing one is missing. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. HALE: You have said that twice, sir. (Miller, 25) Situational Irony: John is unable to name adultery when Hale asks him to recite the 10 commandments. This is ironic because he had an affair with Abigail.
John Proctor”Do that which is good, and no harm shall come to thee.” Verbal/Situational Irony: This is ironic because the Puritans believed lying separates a person from God, however the accused had to lie and confess to witchcraft in order to live. If they told the truth they were not believed and were sentenced to death.
Judge Danforth”I tell you straight, Mister—I have seen marvels in this court. I have seen people choked before my eyes by spirits; I have seen them stuck by pins and slashed by daggers. I have until this moment not the slightest reason to suspect that the children may be deceiving me.” Dramatic Irony: We know that Abigail has been lying the whole time and convincing others to believe her. Judge Danforth does not know she has been lying.
Abigail Williams”Oh, Mary, this is a black art to change your shape. No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it’s God’s work I do.” Verbay Irony: Abigail claims she is doing God’s work but she is not because she has been lying the whole time.

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