Many of the characters in Arthur Miller's The Crucible have specific human flaws that cause the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem villagers exhibit failings, including greed, vengeance, and fear, which eventually lead to the downfall of their town. Many villagers, especially Abigail Williams, take advantage of the opportunity to seek vengeance on others through the trials. Greed for power and land often holds precedence when the hysteria takes over. Fear of being arrested or put to death is the key motivation in turning others in as witches. From these three human flaws, the town of Salem falls into chaos with many innocent people paying the price.
In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the main character Abigail Williams is to blame for the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Abigail is a mean and vindictive person who always wants her way, no matter who she hurts. Through out the play her accusations and lies cause many people pain and suffering, but she seemed to never care for any of them except John Proctor, whom she had an affair with seven months prior to the beginning of the play. John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth used to employ Abigail, until Elizabeth found out the affair and threw Abigail out. Although John told Abigail that the affair was over and he would never touch her again, she tried desperately to rekindle their romance. "Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I'll ever reach for you again." (Page 23) She claimed that she loved John and that he loved her. Before the play began, Abigail tried to kill Elizabeth with a curse. She thought that if Elizabeth were dead John would marry her. Further into the play, Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft. She saw Marry Warren, the Proctor's servant, making a poppet. Mary put a needle into the doll, and Abigail used that for her accusation. She stabbed herself with a needle and claimed that Elizabeth's soul had done it. Although Abigail claimed she loved John, she may have just loved the care and attention he gave her. John cared for her like no one else had. In a way he could be described as somewhat of a father figure to her. When Abigail was just a child, she witnessed her parents' brutal murders. "I saw Indians smash my dear parent's heads on the pillow next to mine..." (page 20) After her traumatic experience, she was raised by her uncle, Reverend Parris, who is somewhat of a villain. In the play it was written, "He (Parris) was a widower with no interest in children, or talent with them." (Page 3) Parris regarded children as young adults who should be "thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak." (Page 4) Therefore, it is obvious to see that Abigail grew up without any love or nurturing.
Towards the middle of the play Hale has begun to see that abigail is out for vengeance than actually finding witches. “Only this consider: the world goes mad, and it profit nothing you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl” (Miller 74). Hale has now realized that the Devil may be at work in Salem but if he is it is not on Abigail and the girls. Once the girls but mainly Abigail accuse Elizabeth Proctor most people especially John Proctor and Reverend Hale begin putting two and two together that these girls are out for blood and not revealing who is conspiring with the
Mr. Jacobs was an old man that could not walk without his sticks (canes so to speak). The little girl pointed the finger at him that he crawled through her window and threated to kill her if she testify against him. The man questioned that remark with his disability, but as the girls started the hysteria with devil and spirits. The girl made the court think it was his spirit that came to her because he was involved with witchcraft as well as the others. He would be ordered to be hanged like the others as well. The girls continued to fool the town with being overtaken by the devil and the spirits that come to harm them. When Goody Proctor’s name was brought up, John Proctor became angry with Abigail knowing why she was doing the things she was doing. Reverend Hale went to see John that night to tell him about the mentioning of his wife, he asked them to recite the commandments like if that was a way to see if they honored their God or was involved with the devil as well. That same night before Mr. Hale came, Mary Warren had come back to the house upset and John Proctor was mad at her for not being in the house. This is when Mary cried out about the mentioning of Goody Proctor (Elizabeth) by Abigail. The people had come to get Elizabeth that night to face the court in the morning. She was accused because Abigail was stabbed by what they assume her spirit because of what Abigail confessed. The girls once again panicked in the court causing an uproar believing that devil was among them. John was determined to free his wife, he went to the court and admitted his adultery he committed with Abigail and the reasoning of why she is causing the chaos in the town for revenge. He claimed that the girls were all pretending. His proof was Mary Warren as she was in the forest that night when they were only dancing and hoping for love when it was Abigail
The Salem Witch Trials were an event where Americans were at their lowest. Whenever someone could be accused of being a witch and was guilty until they were proven innocent. The Crucible is a play written about this time frame where it really shows the mob mentality that everybody can have. The accusation of “witchcraft” spreads through this village putting peoples’ lives at stake just to cover up what some girls are afraid to confess to. Because of the fear through the village of witchcraft, it is believed to be true and people begin to be put on trials. The way the mob can affect a community can be overwhelming to the people in the town and could even tear it apart. Just because of one group of people, it can become chaos. Groups of people are unpredictable and can turn into mobs because people act differently in crowds, one person can affect everybody, and with more people, more things are going to happen.
Shannon L. Alder once said, “Sometimes painfully lost people can teach us lessons that we didn 't think we needed to know, or be reminded of---the more history changes, the more it stays the same.” Salem has been teeming with rumors of witchcraft since the 1600s, which is evident in the different sources and stories about witchcraft that supposedly took place there along with the intense and lethal trials.Throughout the different articles and the novel centered on Salem and the witchcraft trials that occurred there, a recurring pattern is apparent, those within Salem have quickly turned on each other and resorted to mayhem and chaos when there are not reasons for strange events.
It’s the 1690’s in Salem Massachusetts and allegations are in the air; the town is tense and no one can be trusted. This is the setting of the play The Crucible which tells the story of the Salem witch trials. The play was written during the Red Scare, or the fear of communism, of the Cold War. This gave the play a double meaning. Instead of just being a historical play, to show how history always repeats itself. The Crucible, written in 1953 by Arthur Miller, reflects 20th century American plays and the time period by using the Salem witch trials to open the eyes of Americans to the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
The Crucible, as Originally produced by Arthur Miller in 1953, is a well acclaimed tragedy that still holds reverence today. Given its prestige and overall dramatic richness, it can be understood why the Playmaker’s very own Desdemona Chiang chose to recreate and reimagine the play. The Crucible, being set in Salem Massachusetts, is centered around the spectacle of witch hunts that occurred in the year 1692. As imagined, mass hysteria, fear, and paranoia, occurred because of this. The plot of the play is centered around the protagonist John proctor (Ariel Shafir), a prideful man who finds himself entangled in these bizarre events. Throughout the play, Proctor (Ariel Shafir) and his allies struggle to convince the Salem townspeople of the nonsense and inaccuracies that surround the witch hunts. The conflict of the play has an underlying message as it represents the struggle between reason of the human mind and irrational hysteria. The theme of The Crucible embodies how a community can turn so quickly on one another, and
Authors often have underlying reasons for giving their stories certain themes or settings. Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, The Crucible, is a work of art inspired by actual events as a response to political and moral issues. Set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, The Crucible proves to have its roots in events of the 1950’s and 1960’s, such as the activities of the House Un-American Committee and the “Red Scare.” Though the play provides an accurate account of the Salem witch trials, its real achievement lies in the many important issues of Miller’s time that it dealswith.
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, is set in Salem village where an atmosphere of enmity and mistrust has been created through the conflicts and disagreements many villagers experience throughout the play. Many of these are caused by or, similar to the conflict between Parris and Proctor, are inflated by the many accusations of witchcraft occurring in the village.
First it started off as a want for boys in salem until one of the girls from Salem tried to turn it into something else by wishing bad things upon a man named Proctor. She wished death upon Proctor’s wife whose name is Elizabeth because she was obsessed with him. After the girls left the woods Abigail williams after being caught Abigail tried to convince the rest of the girls that they were only in the woods dancing as seen on page 148 in lines 353 to 360 which explained that Abigail told the others if anyone ask they were only dancing. So who's to blame? Abigail williams because the lies started with her and because she threatened all the other girls to lie also.
In the book The Crucible many characters go mad with power. One of this person is Abigail Williams, Reverend Parris niece. Abigail is the president or leader of a group of girls that start accusing people of being witches. Abigail went Mad with Power when she starts to accuse Tituba and Sarah Osborne of being a witch. “She made me do it! She made betty do it!” (Act 1 pg 847). Abigail first tells Hale about the “witches” when Betty, Parris’s daughter, fell into a deep sleep and wouldn’t wake up. She first accused Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn. Later in Act II Abigail goes completely mad with power. In Act II Abigail accuses Mary Proctor of have sent her spirit upon her and stab her with a pin. “Why, Abigail Williams charged her” (Act II
Of the major characters, Abigail Williams is clearly the villain of the play: she tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths. Throughout the hysteria, Abigail’s motivations never seem more than simple jealousy and a desire to have revenge on Elizabeth Proctor. When the first girl, Betty Parris, is accused of witchcraft, Abigail is trying to convince her uncle that there is a rumor of witchcraft circulating in town; “Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all about; I think you’d best go down and deny it yourself”(1130). She convinces him that he should go down talk the rumor, she is attempting to cover her tracks, and shift the attention away from her and the girls. This is the main example of how Abigail is a liar.
The purpose of my paper is to compare and contrast Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the actual witch trials that took place in Salem in the 17th Century. Although many of the characters and events in the play were non-fictional, many details were changed by the playwright to add intrigue to the story. While there isn’t one specific cause or event that led to the Salem witch trials, it was a combination of events and factors that contributed to the birth and growth of the trials. Some of these events included: a small pox outbreak that was happening at the time, the revocation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony charter by Charles II, and the constant fear of Native attacks. These helped in creating anxiety among the early Puritans that they were being punished by God himself.