The Guilty Characters In Miller's The Crucible

844 words - 3 pages

The Salem Witch Trials, Who is Really Guilty

After all of the witch trials in 1692 concluded a total of 20 people were hanged all because of people craving attention and personal gain. There are three people depicted in Arthur Miller's The Crucible that are most responsible for this and they are, Abigail Williams, Judge Danforth, and Thomas Putnam. Abigail Williams is mostly responsible for the Salem witch trials because she was the first person to start accusing innocent people of witchcraft. Judge Danforth is responsible because he is not concerned about justice, all he cares about is being correct about the witch trials. Lastly Thomas Putnam is guilty of causing the witch trials because he was able to have people accuse other people so he could claim their land for himself. The witch trials were a senseless massacre and all because Abigail Williams, Judge Danforth, and Thomas Putnam were only concerned about them selves, not the innocent ones around them.

Abigail Williams started the witch trials in Salem all because she and a group of her friends wanted some attention from their town. Abigail thinks she is superior to some people, specifically Tituba and has no problem accusing people she feels superior to. "They want slaves, not such as I. Let them send to Barbados for any of them!"(24). Abigail's first victim in her accusation spree was Tituba. Tituba was easy first target because she is a slave and practices voodoo, both things combined make her the easiest target in Salem. "Sometimes I wake and find myself standing in the open doorway and not a stitch on my body! I always hear her laughing in my sleep. I hear her singing her Barbados songs and tempting me with-"(27). Abigail targets Tituba first so she can gain some false credibility in accusing witches because as stated before she is the easiest person in Salem to target. Abigail starts to accuse several people in Salem soon after Tituba in a desperate ploy to get attention, that soon gets blown out of proportion and becomes a massacre of innocent people.

Judge Danforth is also responsible for the Salem witch trials because his rulings to kill people came with no concrete evidence against them, only unreliable witnesses. Judge Danforth has a very cutthroat way for his rulings. One is either guilty or innocent, no opportunity for a second trial or a review of the case. He openly lets the court know this by saying "If you are not with the court, you are against it"(72). This...

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