Reputation was very important in Salem. In an environment where reputation plays such an important role, the fear of being guilty rises, when we are talking about witchcraft the only proof that there is, are the witnesses or in this case the victims. This creates problems during the play when trying to demonstrate if the accused really were doing witchcraft. Characters in the play do many things to protect their reputation. The characters that I will talk about in this essay are Parris, John Proctor, Abigail and Danforth.
Abigail Williams is a perfect example of a liar in Salem. The crucible displays how people accused others of witch craft just because they didn’t like them and not based on whether they were witch or not. We can witness this action by Abigail repeatedly. However, she does not only lie when accusing people but she lies to protect her own name, and she does so, so convincingly. ‘’She sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer!’’ this is a quotation from Act 1 just after Reverend Hale’s arrival.
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.
The unwarranted accusations that Joseph McCarthy and the citizens of Salem made are what fueled the widespread hysteria in both situations. According to Miller “It seemed that the hysteria in Salem had a certain inner procedure, or several, which were duplicating once again and that perhaps by revealing the nature of that procedure some light could be thrown on what we were doing ourselves. "(Miller) He made this statement in comparison to the present day witch hunts; which were at the time of the McCarthy trials. The people of Salem accused others of witchcraft to protect their own lives. In both eras, they struck fear in citizens due to the "guilty until you confess" attitude which were in favor of the court.
It is such an important factor in this play because as mentioned earlier it is what introduces the main point. After Goody Proctor got arrested Proctor was determined to prove her innocence and Abigail’s false allegations. He presents himself at court to talk to the “Excellency” about Abigail and the girls’ false visions. He has Mary Warren testify which catches Abigail off guard and she has to pretend that she is once again being attacked. Proctor angered by this calls her a whore and says “I have known her, sir.
The Crucible, set during the Salem Witch Trials, is about how young girls could persuade an entire puritanical society to believe that there are witches. Throughout the plot of the story, John Proctor is an important character. While he dismisses the fact that there are witches, it is revealed that Proctor had an affair with Abigail, the first accuser. Throughout the beginning and middle of the story, Proctor pays his penance privately and no one knows what he did. When he tries to confess to the court about his sin to prove that he would not lie about the witches, the court puts him in jail for lying ironically.
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary malicious is an act that is “vicious, wanton, or mischievous in motivation or purpose.” In the novel The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams, the seventeen year old niece of Reverend Parris, portrays the characteristic of being malicious. Throughout the novel, Abigail performs malicious acts of deceit that fuels the plot for the entire novel. The first act Abigail commits is an affair with John Proctor, a proud man who is married to Elizabeth Proctor. However, when Proctor ends everything between him and Abigail, Abigail is left hurt and envious of Elizabeth. In order for Abigail to enact revenge, she starts malicious rumors about Elizabeth.
They would complain of physical pains, uncontrollable trembling, babbling and loss of thought. These afflictions were mainly thought to have been the work of the Devil. They were diagnosed as the victims of a witchcraft practice done by Tituba and two village women. John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin, assistants of the Massachusetts general court were called to conduct and examination on the woman. The physical appearance of the woman concluded the examination and marked them as witches, due to physical signs left by the devil such as a "wart."
Arthur Miller wrote “The Crucible”, during the age of McCarthyism; because he felt like during that time they were going through the same motions as the Salem Witch Trials. Senator Joseph McCarthy coined the name McCarthyism. McCarthyism was the post-medieval witch-hunt. “The Crucible” can be compared with McCarthyism because of the fact that each was accusing others of crimes, witchcraft and communism, both of which are very hard to prove. Abigail Williams (Miller) and Joseph McCarthy can also be compared, due to the fact that they too would accuse people of crimes; based on what they heard or thought that they had heard.
She develops a twisted plot to secure John for herself. She tries to accomplish this by accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft, that ultimately leads to Elizabeth's arrest. Many other good-willed people in Salem also get accused of witchcraft. Proctor realizes that he must end this hysteria in Salem, and to do so, he has to confess to his adultery. Such an admittance would ruin his good name and Proctor is a proud man who, above all, places great emphasis on his reputation.