This sample paper on Vinegar Tom offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
We meet Alice and the Man (who only appears in this scene). However the audience wouldn’t know or recognises her as Alice until she appears in Scene 3.
We meet Jack and Margery for the first time. There is one sign that things in this town aren’t going that well.
We can tell this because of the line: “Died last week. There’s two or three cows died in the neighbourhood. ”
In this scene we meet Joan Noakes who Margery and Jack spoke about in the previous scene. Joan Noakes is a poor widow and is Alice’s Mother
In this scene Margery is attempting to make butter. Because the butter won’t form she starts to sing a song.
I presume she starts to sing cos she is quite superstitious. Joan arrives to asks Margery for yeast to make some loaves of bread and then if there some yeast left some beer, now because of this Margery replies no because as far as she’s concerned Joan would just use it all to make beer and then she’d get drunk. Then because Margery won’t help her, Joan damns the butter that Margery is making to hell.
At the end of the scene Margery decides to use a horseshoe to place in the milk to make the butter come.
In this scene Alice and Susan (our first meeting) talk about Alice and the man’s meeting. Susan
Then goes on to talk about how she has had a miscarriage. This could possibly be her second, as Alice says; “Not again does he know?” When referring to “he” she means Susan husband.
Susan points out that because Eve tempted Adam to eat the apple from the tree in Eden. That a women pays God with her pain of having a child.
After this they refer back to Scene 1 and what happened there.
Shortly after this Jack enters to talk to Alice’s Mother but before that he starts talkin to Alice About how he feels about her, the reason he has been sticking up for her is because he has feelings for Alice. So as soon as he starts on this she calls her mother. Jack and Alice then start insulting each other.
This scene is probably one of the shortest. It is a duologue between the doctor and Betty.
Betty is tied to a chair and the doctor is about to bleed her arm, which is to release the pressure (supposedly). This would release the “noxious” gases that form in the body during menstruation.
This scene opens with Margery panicking about the calves that are in the barn because they are shaking and their bellies are swollen.
Then either from the panic attack or just so scared but she collapses on the floor Margery is quite God fearing because every time something bad happens she always says (or words to the effect) that they should pray to God. So then Margery decided that they are bewitched.
Susan and Alice go to see Ellen the cunning woman. Susan goes for a charm to get rid of the pain she is going through and Alice a love Charm. She also offers to be a midwife for Susan at a later date. The love Charm for Alice is so she may see the Man but then Ellen tells her she’ll have no chance without a few strands of hair or a few drops of blood. Ellen replies with that she can however give her, a potion to stop the heartache, which by the way she describes, it sounds more like a sedative to help her sleep.
This is now Betty’s turn to go Ellen’s. Because is due to marry a gentleman who she absolutely hates she has come to get a charm that would make him hate her so they wouldn’t get married. Ellen is asked by Betty to let her come and visit whenever she likes and Ellen says that is ok as long as she brings a “little present.”
Jack and Margery have now gone as a last resort to see Ellen.
Ellen says that she might not be able to do anything because it could be too late.
The thought of burning a calf was made a reality but it was too late to save the other calves. Ellen hands them a cloudy glass for them to look into to look for a good witch what shocks them is that they see Mother Noakes. They take it that this was a sign to prove that she is a witch.
Jack goes back to ask Ellen why he saw what he saw and then asks Ellen what he should do about his feelings for Alice.
Joan walks past Margery’s house to supposedly see what was the awful stench that hung in the air.
Margery then says that a good stench brings a witch to be inquisitive to where it is coming from.
Margery starts a fight with Joan by scratching at her head to draw blood.
Susan and Alice are stood outside of Jack and Margery’s discussing that Alice had seen the Man again riding a horse with a beautiful young lady whom Alice threats to scratch the eyes out of the girl’s head. Susan asks inquisitively “was he in black still?”
Alice then says “that this time he was wearing a blue velvet jacket. Susan repeats this and Alice yells at her and Susan starts to cry almost uncontrollably. Alice then tells her that she should rest, Susan replies “I don’t want him to know” Alice then starts to get worked up about not telling her husband.
They then started to talk about telepathy and that Alice should try it to get the Man to come back to her.
Alice then bends down and picks up some clay/mud and moulds it into a man to represent the man she met in Scene one. Susan starts to yell at Alice as she threatens to prick the statue between the legs to make him incompetent to his woman. Susan carries on to yell at her.
Susan falls towards her and the clay man smashes in the mud. Alice then turns it round and blames it on Susan that she’s “killed” him. They then sit there and Alice cradles Susan like a child as she cries.
Jack then arrives probably to see what all the shouting was about but then he comes out and calls Alice a witch. Alice then replies to this by asking him “Are you drunk?” He replies “Give it back” and for obvious reasons she is completely oblivious a few lines later Jack says “Everyone comes near you is ill. Give it back come on give it back.” She is still oblivious.
Because she still doesn’t know what he’s going on about he grabs her by the throat and almost strangles her so she plays along with him by putting her hand between his thighs and telling him that his manhood is back.
Then Susan tells her that she doesn’t want to be touched by a witch.
In this scene the Bellringer tells the people what they have to do if they believe there is a witch in the town.
Between Jack and Margery they come up with at least 15 reasons that could prove Joan is a witch. Packer and Goody then pull up her skirt and prick her leg they then abuse her. We don’t know whether they taunt her or if they do anything physically. The first time she is pricked she doe s bleed but the second (which was probably a fake) she didn’t bleed. So Packer tells everyone “There’s one for the hanging”. Then they get Alice and do the same to her except instead of just bleeding a little she bleeds lots. Packer then says that we can’t hang her because she’s not a witch until someone has another reason. Susan stands forward and claims she knew something so when Alice asks her not to speak against her she starts shrieking then when they take Alice out of the room she stops shrieking. Susan then tells Packer about Alice’s meeting with the Man who she refers to as the devil. Packer then addresses the people in the square about cunning women and how they are the worst.
In this scene they do to Susan what they did to Alice and Joan. This scene is more of a monologue although there are at least 3 people on stage.
In this scene Betty talks to Ellen about she is worried that she will be hung for witchcraft. Ellen suggests to Betty that her safest option is to get married.
In this scene Alice is tied up seated
on the floor. Goody is guarding her. When Alice starts to drop off Goody bangs a drum to wake her up. Packer enters and tells Goody to go and get some sleep. So Goody leaves. Alice pleads with him to let her have her boy. Packer gets the drum and starts banging it. Alice starts to complain that it is starting to make her head throb.
At the beginning of this scene Goody is looking in every nook and cranny of Susan body. Joan has quite a long monologue in this scene and when Packer asks “Is there any reason you shouldn’t be hanged?” Joan replies “I’m with child”
This is a prayer by Margery for Joan and Ellen as they are being hung.
In this scene, Susan asked, “how can you look?” Alice just turns and says, “She wasn’t a witch. She wouldn’t know how.” At the end of this scene Alice goes on about how she’d like to be a witch so she could kill all the people who have lead to her Mother’s death.
This scene is sort of round up scene to round up why witches were evil