Hoffman’s spies have done their work well, and have led Hoffman and his guards to where Michael and the others are celebrating their new church. They are all arrested ...and taken to prison to await trial.
Michael, Margaretha and the other Anabaptists are captured by Hoffman and his guards. Wilhelm escapes yet again, when he runs upstairs and hides from the guards. Michael is taken to the torture room of the prison where Hoffman tries to make Michael see the error of his ways and renounce his beliefs. When he says he will not, Hoffman puts him on trial for heresy and treason. During a recess in the trial, Margaretha is allowed to spend a few minutes with Michael. He tells her he is afraid for her and the others. She also admits her fear, but they stand by their convictions, even though they are unsure of their future.The judge, Count von Zollern, advises Hoffman that he should turn the trial into a civil matter rather than a religious one, so his people will turn against him. When Hoffman twists Michael’s words around, the crown starts chanting that he should hang.Countess von Zollern pays Margaretha a visit where she is also imprisoned. She offers her freedom and a position in her house if she will renounce her beliefs. Margaretha says she cannot. When the Countess questions her and her loyalty to Michael and his faith, Margaretha states, “I do not follow my beliefs because of my husband, I follow my husband because of my beliefs.” The Countess envies such free thinking as her own life is governed by the thoughts of her husband, however, she is powerless to do anything now to help Margaretha.Michael is led away to be burned alive, after his tongue has been torn out and his flesh torn by hot tongs. Margaretha prays for a miracle that will never come. Two days after Michael is put to death, Margaretha is drowned.Wilhelm later renounces his beliefs and becomes a rich man through the very church he previously condemned.
Hoffman swears he is not a cruel man by nature, but vows to put Michael to death if he doesn’t renounce his beliefs.
Countess von Zollern offers Margaretha her freedom if she will renounce her beliefs.