The True Antagonist Of Salem Essay

1254 words - 6 pages

There are many characters to blame in The Crucible for the umpteen deaths of the innocent people who were hanged because of an enormous rumor going around Salem. Characters like John Proctor, who had an affair with Abigail, can easily be targeted as the antagonist. If Proctor was faithful to his wife, Elizabeth, the drama would not arise. He, however, had an affair with Abigail, who instantaneously fell in love with him and was desperate for his attention, which resulted in her wanting to get rid of his wife so that she can have him to herself. Proctor committed adultery, therefore he is an evident suspect. Additionally, Danforth can easily be blamed for all the chaos, as well. Danforth was very gullible and naïve, he constantly believed the hysterical acts Abigail and her friends kept displaying. As biased as he tried not to be, Danforth was power hungry and would not listen to the words of others, such as those of Reverend Hale or John Proctor, about the girls suppressing the truth and accusing others of witchcraft. Abigail’s group of friends is another important factor which added to the numerous deaths of the faultless residents of Salem. Her friends constantly followed her around, mimicking her actions and obeying her orders. They listened to everything she said, therefore the truth of what truly went on in the woods never escaped. Despite the fact that all these people could have clearly been accused of witchcraft and hanged, Abigail bears the ultimate responsibility for the deaths of the innocent Puritans.
To begin with, throughout the play, the drama constantly revolves around Abigail. Although the blame may not always be on her, people always somehow find a way to link her misbehavior and actions to their confessions. For instance, when Proctor gets called up to the court he says, “I have known her, sir. I have known her” (Miller 189) he is admitting that he committed adultery because both him and his wife are accused, although they did not practice witchcraft and he believes that this evidence will prove that Abigail should not be trusted. He is aware that is he brings up Abigail’s name the attention will also be focused on her, after all she is clearly guilty of something. By admitting that he has not been faithful to his wife and that he has slept with Abigail, Proctor proves his innocent because as he claims, “a man would not cast away his good name” (Miller 189). However, Abigail refuses to justify the information he has admitted therefore the blame is still on him. In addition, Elizabeth denies all the information about Proctor being an adulterer, not being aware that he has already admitted it. As a result, the court does not believe him since he claimed that his wife never lies. Another example of when people connect Abigail to their confessions occurs when Abigail tries to accuse Elizabeth of wanting to murder her. Abigail left a poppet in Elizabeth’s house with a needle in the stomach, which resembled the way someone stabbed...

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