Vengeance is Walking in Salem

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The characters in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" did not expect it either. When it comes to protecting herself, Betty quickly called out the names of her "friends" whom she claims saw the devil. However, the character most responsible for the witchcraft hysteria, and this the deaths of innocent people, is Abigail Williams.

Abigail becomes the leader of the girls by taking charge and threatening them. She told them that if anyone told on her for lying, she would kill them. She was the one who started the confessing by shouting out "I saw Sarah good with the devil, I saw Goody Osburn with devil" (Miller 45). The night Abigail Williams was in the forest all the girls were dancing for the devil, but because she confessed and quickly blamed other people, Reverend Hale forgets about her and focuses on the ones whose names she shouted out. She obviously enjoys being the center of attention and knows everyone will look to her to give the names of witches and save the town from the devil.

When one lives in a town as small as Salem, everyone knows everyone's business; thus many times creating jealousy. This was the reason Abigail Williams blamed Elizabeth Proctor for being a witch. Several months before the witch hysteria had begun John Proctor and Abigail Williams had an affair. All the girls knew about it, but they dare not tell anyone because they were aware of Abigail's threats. Her plan was to say Elizabeth was practicing witchery so she would be hung and Abigail would have John Proctor to herself. She knew the courts would believe her because she once worked for the Proctor's. Elizabeth Proctor let her go when she found out about the affair between her and John Proctor. The courts were unaware of...