As the curtain closes, the three continue with their accusations as Hale orders the arrest of the named people and sends for judges to try them.
In a second narration, the narrator compares the Colony to post-World War II society, presenting Puritan fundamentalism as being similar to cultural norms in both the United States and the Soviet Union.
Parris is unhappy with his salary and living conditions as minister, and accuses Proctor of heading a conspiracy to oust him from the church.
Abigail, standing quietly in a corner, witnesses all of this.
As they argue, psalm is sung in the room downstairs, Betty bolts upright and begins screaming. Parris runs back into the bedroom and various villagers arrive: the wealthy and influential Thomas and his wife, Ann Putnam, respected local woman Rebecca Nurse, and the Putnam's neighbor, farmer Giles Corey. Putnam is a bereaved parent seven times over; she blames witchcraft for her losses and Betty's ailment.
The villagers, who had not heard the argument, assume that the singing of a psalm by the villagers in a room below had caused Betty's screaming. Rebecca is rational and suggests a doctor be called instead. Putnam and Corey have been feuding over land ownership.
His ten-year-old daughter, Betty Parris, lies motionless.
The previous evening, Reverend Parris discovered Betty, some other girls, and his Barbadian slave, Tituba, dancing naked in the forest and engaged in some sort of pagan ritual.
Additionally, fears of Satanism taking place after incidents in Europe and the colonies are compared to fears of Communism following its implementation in Eastern Europe and China during the Cold War. The remainder of Act Two is set in the Proctors‘ home.
John and Elizabeth are incredulous that nearly forty people have been arrested for witchcraft based on the pronouncements of Abigail and the other girls.