Moreover, when Reverend Parris confronts Abigail about being fired by Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail denies any wrongdoings. She accuses Elizabeth as “a lying, cold, sniveling women” who spreads rumor about to degrade her social status. Abigail’s motivation in the witchcraft is thus revealed, which is jealousy towards Elizabeth. As Abigail successfully frames other people for being responsible about the witchcraft, she further imposes her domination over the other girls. Her domination is demonstrated physically and verbally.
Introduction "Almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended" (Linder - page 1). The Salem witch trials occured in 1692 and ended in 1693. Women were accused of being witches and using witchcraft to harm other people in the village. The trials began when three young girls became ill with an unknown disease. A local doctor diagnosed the girls as being possessed by the devil.
The Salem Witch Trials were a result of mass hysteria fueled by the accusations of Abigail Williams and her friends. During the Salem Witch Trials those suspected of witchcraft were jailed and given a trial. During the trial the accused was dogged for a confession and even names of other wishes. The incentive was if they confessed, God would forgive them and they could live, but of course no one was really a witch so most plead innocent and were hung anyways, simply because of a suspicion. The whole event of the Salem Witch Trials is viewed as unjust because after the accusations spread, many townspeople simply accused their neighbors of being a witch to gain revenge, money, land, or something similar.
Massachusetts was the location of the Salem Witchcraft hysteria from 1692 to 1693, stemming from uncompromising moral codes and religious beliefs. However, despite problems experienced in farming due to the harsh climate and rugged terrain; Salem also faced political and economic upheavals within the community, during this time. The hysteria commenced when an Indian slave named Tituba was accused of witchcraft by 3 young girls (Roach, 2002). Eventually, under an intense flailing, Tituba was forced to confess of witchcraft to a court official. Tituba's confession ignited a series of witchcraft manhunts leading to women and men being hanged, one man crushed to death by heavy rocks, and 150 more men were held in prison awaiting trail .
Among the “witches” convicted were Sarah Osborne, Tituba, and Sarah Good, who had all been in a distressful state. Osborne was an elderly and impoverished woman, Tituba a slave, and Sarah Good was a homeless beggar. To that, Susannah North Martin had been an old widow, a likely target for the witchcraft conviction. Not only the trials themselves but also the general aura of fear of being persecuted threw Salem and even all of the Massachusetts Bay Colony into disarray, weakening the colony in the air of paranoia. The historical significance of Susannah Martin’s trial is in communion with each other convicted witch, in that an idea can lead to destruction, not only destruction of the lives that were taken due to this idea, but almost to the colony itself.
Throughout the years, witchcraft has been the common fear of mankind. In England, the legal definition of a witch was “a person who hath a conference with the devil to consult with him or to do some act”. In early modern Europe, women were thought to be witches due to their biblical association with the devil, the superstitions and misunderstanding of the people of Europe, and the negative perceptions of those who deviated from the social norm. As a result, these beliefs and superstitions led to the death of thousands of alleged witches. (Witch Hunts) Witches were thought to be consults of the devil who gave up their bodies and led others away from the church for the devil in exchange for otherworldly power.
She talks back to defend her name and in Act One, she suggests to Parris," Uncle, the rumors of witchcraft is all about; I think you'd best go down and deny it yourself." She is also aggressive and forceful, the other girls are afraid of her. When Mary Warren suggested that they should confess to dancing in the woods. Abigail threatens them, "...I have seen some reddish work done at night and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!" Another characteristic of interest is how Abigail acts as a catalyst for the Salem witch trials.
Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” depicts the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, in these trials women were accused of being witches; they were sentenced to death, tortured, and their reputation would be forever tarnished. During this revival of religion era faith was central to the government of Salem. Miller makes references to how the events leading up to the trails were unjust, bias and resulted in harsh punishment. The McCarthy hearings were trials in which Senator Joe McCarthy accused government employees of being Communists. (Sowers, Campbell, and Key) He exaggerated and exploited the evidence and ruined many reputations.
While these two events were decades apart they had many similarities. They both began from false accusations, both spread unnecessary panic, and both used fear to gain power. The Salem Witch Hunts were a cause of mass hysteria that came from accusations made by Abigail Williams, Betty Paris, Mercy Lewis, and Tituba. These girls were caught dancing in the woods and accused of being witches due to some of their peculiar behavior which included screaming, bending into awkward positions, and making strange sounds. To keep themselves out of trouble the girls said other women in the community were practicing witchcraft.
1253) it becomes clear that Putnam is killing his colleagues by accusing them of being a “witch”, then exploits the witch trials to gain land from them. By no coincidence, some of the accused are those with land bordering Putnam’s estate. Even when he is able to take his neighbour’s land away he never seems satisfied or happy. Throughout an exploitation of the witch trials, Putnam gains more and more land thus increasing his realm throughout Salem. Another member of Salem who shares similar traits to Putnam is Reverend Parris.