Truth About The Salem Witch Trials Essay

Truth About The Salem Witch Trials Essay

Length: 2120 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Salem Witch Trials were a series of prosecutions of men and women who were accused to practice witchcraft or have associations with the devil. The first Salem witch trial began with two girls in 1692, Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams who started to have “fits”, in which they would throw tantrums and have convulsions. The random outburst of the girls threw the town of Salem into a mass of hysteria. Although historians have not found a definite reason or cause for the witch trials, they have taken different approaches to explain the hysteria that took over Salem. Some historians approach a psychological theory by proposing the girls suffered from diseases that made them act out. Other historians refer to factors such as religion, economics, and weather to explain the beginnings of an unforgettable time in Salem, Massachusetts. For over 300 years, historians have tried to reveal the truth about the beginnings of the Salem Witch Trials, but in order to do so historians must look at both the way of life in Salem in the seventeenth century and use knowledge that is available now to explain the phenomenon.
Linnda Caporael proposes a theory that Elizabeth and Abigail suffered from convulsive ergotism. Ergotism is a caused by ergot, a type of fungus, found in rye and other grains. The fungus produces hallucinatory, and LSD-like effects. Which can include crawling sensations on the skin, extreme tingling, headaches, and seizure-like muscle contractions. Rye was very common in Massachusetts at the time, and with the damp weather it may have caused ergot to infest on the grains. Caporael says that the girls may have suffered from this disease, and needed a scapegoat for an excuse as to why they were acting foolish. Of course, in the...


... middle of paper ...


...help reveal the name who harmed Elizabeth and Abigail, but the cake failed and Tituba’s knowledge of the test was later used against her in trial. Those are some of the main tests that the accused had to pass to prove their innocence, even though the tests did not guarantee acquittal.
All three women were arrested for the belief of harming Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams with witchcraft ordered by the devil. Sarah Osborne never made it to her trial, because she died in her jail cell on May 10, 1962. Tituba was in jail for thirteen months, until an unknown person paid the seven pounds to release her, and bought her into slavery. Her owner Reverend Parris refused to pay the fee to get Tituba out of jail. Sarah Good was condemned to hang, but was pardoned until the birth of her child. Her infant died in prison with her, and Good was later hanged on July 19, 1692.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Truth of Reverend Hale during The Salem Witch Trials in "the Crucible,” by Arthur Miller

- The Salem witch trials were a time period in which there was mass chaos and very little reason. In, “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller, there were an elect group of people that overcame this hysteria of the trials. Among the people of reason arose, Reverend Hale, who displayed both sides of the hysteria. Reverend Hale is a dynamic character as he transforms from a character following the strict law and causing the deaths of many, to a character that understands the ridiculousness of the trials. In the beginning of the play, Hale enters as a strict law abiding citizen enjoying his position of power and his ability to make the decisions in Salem....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Arthur Miller]

Better Essays
543 words (1.6 pages)

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

- Compassion as a Strength Compassion is an emotion that is oftentimes viewed as a weakness instead of a strength. However, using the corrupted society portrayed in The Crucible, Arthur Miller demonstrates how compassion is necessary for people to survive together, as a society. He establishes this by using the self-centered Parris, whose lack of compassion is responsible for the witch-craze present in Salem. Parris’ dysfunctional relationship with his children causes the girls to lie about their activities in the forest which starts the hysteria around witches....   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Lie, Truth]

Better Essays
1073 words (3.1 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay example

- The Salem witch trials is possibly one of the most controversial events in early American history, where many innocent individuals were wrongly accused of witchcraft. Even though the trials occurred over three hundred years, ago, they still continue to be studied with great interest; however there is still not a conclusion to what truly caused the hysteria. Although the settlers in Salem, Massachusetts were superstitious, they could have prevented the trials from occurring, a possible similarity to our modern judicial system....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Jury, Salem]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials And The Mccarthy Trials Essay

- Wiccaphobia During the 1690’s in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the most disgraceful events in American history took place. 20 innocent people were sentenced to death on charges of witchcraft (Kortuem). At the time there was a witch scare sweeping across the North East of America in a time we know today as the Salem Witch Trials. The witch trials was one of the most shameful events in American history. In fact, it was compared to another event by a man named Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was a playwright from New York who wrote many famous plays like Death of a Salesman, All my Sons, and of course The Crucible (Kortuem)....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft]

Better Essays
1396 words (4 pages)

Witch Trials Of Salem And The Witchcraft Trials Essay example

- Salem 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....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Arthur Miller]

Better Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)

The Truth Behind The Crucible Essay

- The Truth behind the Crucible The Crucible is a drama film written by Arthur Miller in 1996. Miller’s drama film was inspired by the Salem witch trials. The fiction film opened the audience eyes to seeing somewhat of what happened on those cold lonely days in Salem, Massachusetts. Starring Wiona Ryder as Abigail William’s, Daniel Lewis as John Proctor, and Peter Vaughan as Giles Corey. Many scenes Abigail William’s caused most of the chaos according to the movie, The Crucible. My paper is going to go into detail about the Prosecutions, the relationship between John and Abigail, and also why Giles Corey was a hero....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Mary Warren]

Better Essays
1508 words (4.3 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials : Everlasting Accusations Towards Women During The 1950s

- The Salem Witch Trials: Everlasting accusations towards women during the 1960s Throughout history, many attempts of accusations were settled in place against women. There were some cases where men were involved, however, women were the main targets behind the witch craze. When the topic, witches, is brought up in a conversation or writing a paper many, but not all, people think of the witch craze as an act by women to gain higher authority above men. Which could lead to things like, riding a broom stick, afflicting pain onto others, making potions, or sending animals out to kill....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Magic, Witch-hunt]

Better Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

The Truth Within The Lies Essay

- The Truth Within the Lies A lie can protect the integrity of someone when the truth is nowhere to be found. A lie becomes one 's reality when all hope is lost. Lies can protect bare emotions or embrace one 's false accusations, however once said the truth no longer exists. Spoken with words or depicted by actions, lies evolve from innate feelings within and conspire individuals to act in detrimental ways. The propensity of individuals to lie within the Puritan Society develops from the fear of not fitting within the standards and expectations a Puritan is expected to have....   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials]

Better Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Telling The Truth Is Better Than Creating A Lie Essay

- The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in the year 1953. The play is based on the actual historical event- the Salem Witch Trials of 1692- in which twenty people died due to hangings while seventeen died in prison. There are so many people can be blamed for the witch trials. One of those people would be John Proctor, because if he had not had that affair with Abigail before the witch-hunts, she would not have danced in the woods, or acted as a ringleader for the girls to attract his attention....   [tags: Salem Witch Trials, History, Legal Issues]

Better Essays
1768 words (5.1 pages)

Causes of the Salem Witch Trials Essay

- From the beginning of time there has been conflict between the views of different people and their different groups. Conflict has brought prejudice and fear into communities around the world. As conflict is an inescapable part of any society, it can be expected to extend to the greatest impact possible. The Salem Witch Trials are one such conflict. This conflict caused many to be accused, arrested, and killed. Because of social, economic, religious, and physical problems within the community, Salem Village was present with prejudice and panic causing the Salem Witch Trials....   [tags: witchcraft, salem village, American history]

Better Essays
2019 words (5.8 pages)