The Crucible Research Paper

628 Words3 Pages
The events in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible parallel the events that happened from 1692 to 1693 during the Salem Witch Trials. Though Miller chose to create a fictional story based on the trials, he decided to keep the names of the people that experienced them. One change that Miller made in his novel is the age of Abigail Williams. Though it may seem that changing Abigail's age is only a minor detail, Miller did so strategically. He subtly creates a climatic and dramatic play with details that may be overlooked if not examined closely enough. While changing Abigail's age may appear to be an insignificant change in The Crucible, Arthur Miller's reasons for making this change shed light on both history and the play. According to William J. McGill Jr., Arthur Miller changed Abigail's age to make a more dramatic story possible. McGill states that "Abigail Williams, the prime mover of the Salem hysteria had been the house servant of the Proctors, developed an adulterous relationship with John Proctor to avoid an 'inartistic danger' of making an entirely innocent character suffer" (259). If John Proctor had an affair with a different person, it would not have been as impactful to the story. If he had an affair with someone such as Marry Warren, it would not have meant as much to the story because she plays a less significant role. John Proctor suffers in The Crucible for having an affair with Abigail, who happens to be the main source of hysteria during the trials. Because she is the main source of hysteria, Abigail is free to accuse whoever she likes. John Proctor must fight off Abigail's advances towards him, and her threats to his wife, which creates extra tension and drama within the play. Stated in an analysis of The Crucible by Katy E. Monahan Huntley, she also agrees that Arthur Miller changed Abigail Williams' age to create a more effective storyline. To
Open Document