I am going to prove the accused, Bridget Bishop, innocent of being a witch. You think you have proof that Bridget Bishop is a witch. I have proof that Bridget Bishop is not a witch. I will give you many good, reasonable reasons for explaining that she is not a witch. The explanations will prove useful in the defence.
An example of this is “Before long, Nathaniel Saltonstall, the judge who had resigned, was accused of being a witch himself” (Schanzer 89). It makes no sense. Another example is “Sarah Osborn: A bedridden old woman” (Schanzer 6). It is terrible to accuse a bedridden old woman of being a witch! What is bad is that these people were puritans!
The Indictment this is what you could say the Salem witch trials were all about and this is how Abigail got people found guilty and excommunicated from the church. She scared all of her friends to lie and it almost made them seem subservient to her. She was the first accuser and accused Tituba and after that everything went downhill. The judges seemed like they had a lot of predilection towards her and did not want to listen to the people that were accused unless they admitted to witchcraft. An example of this is Tituba confessed so she was not hanged but she accused many people too just so she could save herself.
By Tituba confessing this as well, Abigail Williams also proves without Tituba no witchcraft would have been able to be acted upon. With this evidence we can safely assume that Tituba was the first person causing the witchcraft in Salem. Although Tituba may have been the only witch in Salem she releases more names to Parris and Hail by accusing specific person. One of the people Tituba acsussed were Goody Osborne by replying "aye sir, and Goody Osborne" (Miller 189). By Tituba accusing Goody Osborne of being involved in the witchcraft in Salem, this made the court prone to accuse more people worsening the situation.
The only reason the doctor could come up with was that the supernatural had to have been playing a part in the girls swift and abrupt change in behavior. Later on, the girls that were bewitched became known as the “afflicted girls.” Two men named Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne began interrogating the girls about who or what had came to them. After being pressured by the men, the girls accused three women of afflicting them: the Parris’ Caribbean slave, Tituba; a homeless beggar, Sarah Good: and an elderly impoverished woman, Sarah Osborne. All three of the women accused were social outcasts, so people willingly believed that they could be involved in witchcraft. All three of the accused women were found and taken into custody.
The witch trials started when Abigail and the girls started accusing the other women in Salem, Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, and Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail’s main goal was to have Elizabeth dead at her feet. She was so drunk from the power she acquired and her love for John, that she didn’t think her plans through. One by one, the people accused were sentenced to hang. Due to her mistakes, even her beloved John Proctor was now sentenced to be hanged.
Two young girls that accused people of witchcraft began this era of hysteria. The girls claimed they had seen people having fits, squirming on the ground, and screaming meaningless words. Once someone was accused they were to be put on trial; women were the only targets of these accusations. The individuals that were put on trial were not really given much of a chance to defend themselves. The innocent people had their possessions taken, their livestock was killed, and their kids had to take care of themselves.
Although many characters participated in the Salem witch trials, Abigail Williams was the main source of the consequences. From her threats to the Salem girls, they followed her into doing wrong. In The Crucible, Abigail threatens the girls that if they mention anything to anyone, then she will hurt, or ultimately kill, them at night. Because of this, all the girls, who took part of the witchcraft that one night, did as she told them and accused those who she accused. Abigail and the Salem girls' pretense caused an uproar of mistrust and allegations towards innocent people, which caused their reputations and lives to go down.
Abigail’s immaturity shows throughout the story, along with major jealousy over Elizabeth Proctor, John’s wife. All these events of hanging and sin in Salem lead back around to Abigail’s jealousy overall . Ever since Abigail and John had an affair, way before The Salem Witch
parsonage. Even though the oppressed girls were among the main accusers during the trials, many historiographers believe the deranged girls parents, particularly Thomas Putnam and Reverend Samuel Parris, were inciting the situation with the girls and purposely influencing them to accuse certain people in the community they were not particularly fond of, to gain revenge or just out of spite. Cotton Mather was the minister of the Salem church, and truly believed in witchcraft. He had decided to investigate the unusual behavior of the children who belonged to John Goodwin, a Mason. John’s four children started complaining of sudden pains and began “…crying out together in chorus” (Silverman: 56).