Who Is To Blame For The Hysteria In The Crucible

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Hysteria can be defined as the exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people. This definition proves true and exists throughout the course of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. In The Crucible, a group of girls go dancing in a forest around a cauldron, some even naked, and along with a black slave named Tituba. Reverend Parris, the local minister, then catches the girls in the act. As a result, Betty, one of the girls and Parris’s daughter, goes into what it seems like a coma. This sparks rumors about witchcraft within the town of Salem, as everyone looks toward the girls involved in the forest incident for an answer. Abigail Williams, Parris’s niece and another girl who danced in the forest, begins to take…show more content…
For example, the affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor. Abigail used to serve under the Proctor household as a servant, but ever since the affair, Abigail has long lusted for John Proctor. She is jealous of Elizabeth Proctor for having John Proctor as a husband, and therefore hates her, especially after Elizabeth had found out about the adultery and kicked Abigail out of the house. Later during the crisis, Abigail meets with John Proctor and she talks about their affair. John Proctor constantly refuses to accept their past affair, and Abigail becomes heartbroken. Abigail, in tears, “I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!” (I.465-472). Seeing Abigail cry, it suggests that Abigail’s affair with John Proctor has influenced her behavior in jealousy and lust as she strives for nothing more than her love for John Proctor. By only being heartbroken, Abigail is not to be fully blamed for the hysteria within the town as her actions are only based on desperate attempts to win John Proctor over, and no intentional harm whatsoever. However, on the other hand, Abigail cannot be excused with outside forces making her the way she is due to the fact that she has clearly had a choice in most of her decisions and actions throughout the witchcraft crisis. When Mary Warren, another girl involved in the forest incident, enters the court, she explains to Danforth, the judge, that the girls are lying and are only pretending to see spirits. Judge Danforth then questions Abigail
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