Motives in The Crucible Arthur Miller's The Crucible describes the hysteria surrounding the witchcraft trials that take place in Puritan Massachusetts at end of the seventeenth century. Many of the witchcraft accusations that swept through Salem during this time contained hidden motives that would directly benefit the accuser. Whether one gained land, power, or status by a false accusation, these trials turned neighbors and the whole community against each one another. The incentive of vengeance, desire for wealth, and demand for power fueled the Salam witch hunts of 1692. Fueled by vengeance and jealously of Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams determines that the only way she can have John Proctor to herself is by killing Elizabeth, or accusing her of witchcraft.
Carlson believes that the girls had suffered from an epidemic of encephalitis which caused the girls to exhibit strange neurological and physical behaviors such as convulsions, hallucinations, mental instability and pinching pain on the skin all around the body. With no idea that these behaviors were symptoms of a medical condition, the highly superstitious and religious Puritans could only put the blame on the witches that the girls claimed they were victimized by, which ultimately put fear and paranoia in the minds of the townspeople. During the time of the colonists, there was little knowledge on microorganisms such as bacteria that could be passed around through various means causing diseases and deaths throughout the colonies. According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, subconscious desires and psychological aspects play a large part in the Puritan girls’ behavior. The girls subconsciously wanted attention and to be noticed by people so their subconscious acted upon that desire and it is also likely that the girls could have been going through puberty at their age which would further bring out confused desires and immature, strange behavior.
The Salem witch hunt is without a doubt among the most infamous events in American history. Indeed it is one of the few occurrences from the colonial period with which most modern Americans are familiar. During 1692 over 150 Massachusetts women and men were formally charged with the crime of witchcraft; many more were named informally as suspects. By the time the trials came to a halt, 19 of the accused had been hanged. Several others died in prison and one man was crushed to death during interrogation.
Local magistrates took the initiative when young girls claimed that women in the village were inflicting pain on them, which resulted in all the hangings and overall hype of the Salem Witch Trials. What truly caused the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692? Although this is a question people assume has a simple answer, it is a topic that really, could result in several different complex
Abigial really ignites the fire by blaming Tituba for "bewitching her". As soon as Tituba confesses to witchcraft, to save her herself, and tells Mr. Hale and Rev. Parris that she saw Goody Good and Goody Osburn with the devil, all the girls start naming off names of women all around Salem that they supposedly saw with the Devil. Mary Warren is to blame for many innocent deaths as well. Mary was the housewife for John and Elizabeth Proctor.
In Salem, Massachusets, tensions were high due to recent violence in surrounding colonies. People were eager to find a scapegoat for all of their anxiety. Then, they were given one. A few of the town's young girls fell ill, and suspicion fell on Tituba, a Barabadian housekeeper. The townspeople accused her of bewitching the girls.
Although there were several other contributing factors, the primary cause of the widespread accusations and arrests in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was due to the fear of being accused themselves. Abigail Williams best represents this factor. The first major event that occurs within the play was when Abigail was spotted with her friends in the woods dancing around a pot in the beginning of the play. This causes all of the characters within the book to end up getting involved. To the people in Salem, this was concerning because their actions portrayed those who practice witchcraft and worship the devil.
This is why it was possible to convict women of being witches, and conducting witchery. And the result was all the hangings in the town. 8) Reverend Paris’s motivations are in my opinion very selfish. In the very first scene, he is standing over his daughter Betty's sick bed. Instead of feeling bad for her, I believe he was worried for his reputation as he was afraid that if people thought there was witchcraft in his household, would lose his position as minister of Salem.
1. This article by Edward L. Queen 11 is an overview of the Salem Witch trials. It all started (the accusing women and men of being witches) when a group of young girls were caught telling each other fortunes. They thought they were going to be punished so they said they were being tormented by witches and blamed women of being witches. This created a huge witch hunt.
Alisha Huffman Macbeth (Three Witches) Diary Entries January 20, 2012 The three witches can tell the future and prophecies. They tell Macbeth that he will one day be king. They know this tortures people when they do tell them a great prophecy such as this one. They enjoy the agony they put on people. The witches sound evil and many fear them because of their powers and witchery.