The witchcraft trials brought to the surface underlying tensions and resentments that existed within the townspeople of Salem and allowed them to vent their true feelings. Discuss with reference to characters and themes.
Witchcraft has in history, often been regarded with suspicion and hatred among the public. Even today, in our "enlightened" and "accepting" society, there remain qualms regarding witches and their practice. Not surprisingly, then, 17th century Salem was a place filled with resentment and misgivings towards witches, and it is not hard to see how the townspeople of Salem so easily succumbed to the lure of being able to fully, and outwardly express their true feelings through the pretension of witchcraft.
Abigail Williams shows resentment and her true feelings throughout the play by the pretence of witchcraft. After Abigail's brief affair with John Proctor, her obsession for him rises to a peak that she cannot accept the fact that the relationship has ended.
Her passion for Proctor is expressed when she states, "I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! You loved me John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" This desperation causes her to show antipathy towards both Proctor and his wife. The resentment leads to revenge when she accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. Her resentment intensifies when Proctor tells the court about their affair. Abigail's bitterness is apparent through her words and action's, which leads to not only John Proctor's, but also many other's unfortunate death.
Mr. Putnam also shows his tensions and feelings by accusing his neighbours of witchcraft, which condemn them to hanging. He forces his way in whatever matters benefit him and becomes extremely bitter when he doesn't succeed. He is blamed of coercing his daughter to...