He doesn’t show this from the beginning but its latter on in the play that you see his true colours; when Margery is taking a while to churn the butter. Jack enters and calls her a ‘lazy slut,’ this shows his contempt for his wife and his short temper. Further evidence of this comes when he asks Alice to have an affair with him. The symbol of the request is in the apple but Jack changes his way of speaking to that of sympathy, not for anyone else but himself. He tries to gain the sympathy of Alice by acting hard done by as if in need of her.
When talking of his wife he says, ‘I’m no good to my wife. I can’t do it. Not these last three months. Its only when I dream of you or like now talking to you… ‘ he then pleads with Alice to ‘have some pity. ‘ When Alice doesn’t fall for his act he takes it out on Joan calling her an ‘ungrateful old hag,’ and telling her he’ll ‘break your neck if you speak to me. ‘ From this point on his is back to his miserable and aggressive mood which he keeps until the end of the play when he gets Joan hung, losing it only for a short time when Alice gives him ‘it’ back.
Joan Joan plays the act of an old sweet woman trying to get attention, yet when she is provoked she can be as spiteful and wicked as a witch and has a foul tongue. Examples of these two sides to her personality can be seen when she visits Margery in the barn in scene five and asks for some yeast. At first she is as Jack is in scene five with Alice trying to get sympathy ‘A small crumb of yeast and God will bless you for your kindness to your poor old neighbour.
‘ Yet when she receives none and Margery is a little rude to her she responds by cursing her and saying; ‘Devil take you and your man and your yeast and your beer and your bread and your cider and your cold face… ‘ and she would have continued if she wasn’t cut short by Margery. The way she starts of by talking of blessings from God to cursing from the devil shows the two sides of Joan’s personality, she is in fact a poor old woman, but she is so bitter by that that she curses and swears like a witch which is what gets her hanged in the end.