The Role Of The Salem Witch Trials In The Crucible

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The Salem Witch Trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft between 1692 and 1693. It occured in colonial Massachusetts, relying on a theocracy. The government and religious authority inseparably rule together, and individuals who question authority are accused of questioning God and his authority. There are multiple characters who played major roles in The Crucible but each of them contributed to the play in different ways. Abigail Williams is a major character who was one of the main reasons the Salem Witch Trials took place. These trials ended in a gruesome manner and there were multiple conflicts that led to these trials. Abigail Williams was largely to blame for the actions of the Salem Witch Trials…show more content…
If Abigail had brought the accusations forward and the vulnerable adults wouldn’t have believed the hysteria wouldn’t have occured. The Putnams played a major role in the blaming of being a witch. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam have gone through their own trauma. Seven out of eight of their children have died before they were a day old and Mrs. Putnam is convinced that witches killed her babies. Mr. Putnam is only worried about gaining more land and if more people die that means there is more land for him. Mr. Putnam questions Tituba, Parris’ slave, and says, “Sarah Good? Did you ever see Sarah Good with him? Or Osburn?” After more questioning Tituba responds saying, “There was Goody Good…. And Goody Osburn…”(Miller 46-47) This moment shows the Putnams large role in the blaming of witchcraft because after they ask about a name people respond with those exact names although the blaming wasn’t real. Another person who contributed to the witchcraft hysteria is Reverend Parris. Samuel Parris was quick to blame and quick to make bad remarks about people he didn’t like. Most of all Parris wants to keep up his reputation so if word got out that he niece was acting like a barbarian in the woods he would be shamed upon. In the play Parris says, “If you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.” This quote…show more content…
The judges knew that the witchcraft was a myth but didn’t do anything about it. Danforth and Hathorne often rejected logical facts and refused to head testimonies proving innocence because so many people were accused. After a while, it became clear to everyone in the town, including the judges, the accusations were false. These judges instead of revealing the truth they clung to their pride and ignored what was happening in front of them. If word got out that they sent several innocent people to their deaths their reputation would be ruined and they would be out of their jobs. Danforth says, “near to four hundred are in the jails...and upon my signature...and seventy two condemned to hang by that signature.” In this quote, Danforth is trying to show his power as a judge and the ability of what he can do, condemning people to death. If word got out that he put innocent people in jail or to be hanged then his power would be gone in an instant. Mercy Lewis, Susanna Walcott, Betty Parris, Ruth Putnam and the other girls who went along with Abigail’s charade contributed to the witchcraft hysteria because each of them accused other people and yelled out more names. With several other characters presented in The Crucible it is revealed that the scapegoat of the witchcraft hysteria isn’t just one person. People were hanged, jailed and these people were innocent. Abigail Williams started this because she was
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