The most acknowledgeable dispute from the play was between the Putnam’s and the Nurse’s. Rebecca Nurse was blamed for the death of all of Ann Putnam’s children, except for one. The events also caused numerous people to be convicted of witchcraft, some of them being executed. Two of the most notable people convicted in the play were John Procter, condemned for adultery and later hung, and Tituba, who confessed, saving her own life.
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.
Imagine living life in fear of being hanged or burned to death on accusation of witchcraft. This was the reality for countless men and women alike, during the Witch Trials of the mid-1600s. One such person was a homeless woman named Sarah Good. Good was considered a burden to society, therefore accused of witchcraft and sentenced to be hanged. Although she was pardoned until the birth of her child, that same child perished in prison before her execution (Jobe).
In colonial New England and Europe, belief in the supernatural, specifically in the devil’s procedure of giving some humans –witches –the power to impair others in return for their faith, was unfolded in the early 14th century. People who were thought to be different were accused of witchcraft and apprehended for trials. One of the first trials of Salem was in January 1962, when one of Reverend Samuels Parris’s slaves, called Tituba, would gather a bunch of teenage girls every day. Later in spring, the townspeople were shocked at the girls’ behaviors. It was believed that they danced a black magic dance in nearby woods, and some girls would fall on the floor and hysterically scream.
Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems. The Salem Witch Trials began in the year 1692 when several young girls in Salem, Massachusetts were acting so strange that they were believed to be under a witch’s spell (Schiff). When confronted, the girls began accusing others of practicing witchcraft (Schiff). Many people were soon accusing others or being accused of witchcraft; they were being accused for various reasons such as unexplained illnesses, failed crops, or a woman could even be accused if she could open something a man could not (Brandt, p. 38). As stated in Anthony Brandt’s article, An Unholy Mess, “Legally, spectral evidence was not grounds for convicting a witch.
Why Did Salem Happen? Salem Massachusetts in 1692 was a dark and trying time in the history of America. During this time our young country experienced what some might call an epidemic or an attack, not like the small pox or the Native Americans, but one that was self imposed, and just as destructive. The events started with accusations from young girls, which turned into trials with no proof, then false imprisonment, and ultimately led to the hanging of nineteen innocent people. But why did they start?
Abigail’s affair with John Proctor, which had ended seven months previous to the beginning of the play, causes her to be blinded by desire. She uses the witch trials to get revenge on anyone she wants, but her main target is to kill Elizabeth Proctor, John’s wife. Abigail bullies girls in her town to be loyal to her, while she feels no loyalty towards them. One of the girls Abigail bullies is Mary Warren, a servant of the Proctor’s. Mary tries to stand up to Abigail and tell everyone it’s all a lie, however, when Abigail threatens her of witchcraft, she gives up and joins Abigail again.
The 1692 Salem Witch Trials In 1692 Salem, Prisons had been filled with more than 150 men and women from towns surrounding Salem. Nineteen men and women convicted of witchcraft were carted to Gallow Hill for hanging. Their names had been “cried out” by tormented girls as the cause of their pain. “Stuck in jail with the damning testimony of the afflicted girls widely accepted, suspects began to see confession as a way to avoid the gallows” (Linder). Fear and disease led to an appalling number of incarcerations and even hangings of unfortunate men, women, and children who were wrongly accused of witchcraft.
Witchcraft Theory Back in Puritan life, many women were accused of practicing witchcraft. Many people feel the Salem Witch Trials were a fraud, but they cannot decide if this fraud was due to ergot poisoning, certain townspeople influencing the teenagers to accuse people in order to gain land or economic prosperity, or boredom of the teenage girls. Although there are many theories on why girls of Salem accused others of witchcraft, I believe the Salem Witch Trials occurred because the teenage girls of Salem were bored due to the strict religious environment. The Salem Witch Trials began during the spring of 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts (History.com Staff). During this time, young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and
In Europe, many of the accused witches were executed by hanging. Many practicing Christians, at the time, believed that the Devil could persuade people to use the powers that he gave them to harm others. The Salem Witch Trials occurred because of resource struggles, many women were accused and tortured, and in the end the Governor realized that it was a big mistake. (“Salem Witch Trials”, 1). In 1689, English rulers William and Mary started a war with France in the American colonies which sent many refugees into the Essex County and Salem Village.
Living in Salem in the summer and spring of 1692 would’ve been an extremely hectic experience, especially if you were a married woman with another woman who wanted your man. Many people were put to death in the months between June and September, and had it not been for a mass hanging, it might have continued for who knows how long. The accusers of the Witch Trials were mainly jealous women who were out for the man(or land) of an accused woman, but that was not always the case. Some men(boys, really) accused others of being witches for the reason that a.) they wanted their land, or b.)
In a small place called Salem Village, Massachusetts, over 200 people were accused of being witches and 20 people were executed, 1 being pressed to death. One woman, a woman who dared to do the impossible, a woman who dared to challenge the government, a woman by the name of Mary Dyer, was executed for practicing her religion which was declared illegal by the Puritan church. Why? It was because of suffocating grasp, the theocratic government, or the Puritan Church, had over the people. It all would have been different if the Puritan society was introduced to a document, we, as citizens of the United States, are so fortunate to have, which is called the Constitution, but more specifically, if they were introduced to the establishment clause.
During the Salem Witch Trials a lot of people were accused of using witchcraft. As a result many people died for other people’s lies, rumors, and selfishness. There is one person that really caused and is most to blame for all the chaos, her name is Abigail. Abigail is to blame for all that has happened in the Witch Trials, the reason for that is because of all the accusing and lying she has done. In addition, it all leads up to her for instance, she used a doll to accuse people of witchcraft.
In 1692, the hysteria of what is now known as the Salem witch trials begun. It all started within the minister’s household when his daughter and niece started to act outlandishly. Witchcraft was blamed for their behavior and actions, which resulted in the madness of accusing almost every woman in the village of Salem. About 20 were eventually executed (Blumberg 1). This delirium ended when minister Cotton Mather and his son pleaded to cease the use of spectral evidence, the “testimony about dreams and visions” (Blumberg 2).
Mary Warren has to explain what the whole spiel with the coma and dancing in the woods was about. John Proctor was the connection between that for when he forced Mary to promise on her life that the dancing was the practice of witchery and to explain it in front of the court. Throughout the story John has hell thrown at him in all directions, but somehow he stays just the brink of insanity only going above that line when Abigail lost in court. John did have an affair with Abigail which he soon confessed about in court. Abigail was trying to get John wife hung at the gallows for witchery and it was a false accusation.