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Transcript of The Crucible
Character conflict map
The Head Mischief Maker...
A woman searching for reasons...
The disgruntled and greedy neighbor...
Most people dislike the revered because of his focus on sin and hell and senseless and selfish behavior.
Abigail Williams was the niece of Reverend Parris. She witnessed the brutal murder of her parents, which obviously disturbed her mentally. Of all the characters in the play, she caused the most trouble. Her involvement in the trials caused many innocent people to be killed, for she believed them to be hypocrites.
''There might also be a dragon with five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it.''
Reasons To Accuse
Blame for problems
In pursuit of wealth
To suppress the social deviants
To steal a husband
To save yourself...
Regarding Abigail, John Procter was conflicted. While she helped out in his house, the two had an affair behind the barn. Abigail is completely stuck on John and will do anything to get him back, despite his dismissal. He tells her the relationship is over, but she believes that she should be together, and that his wife is the only think in the way. This belief is what fueled her in her fight against his wife, and ultimately against John himself.
A devoted wife...
A man with a guilty conscience...
Only trying to help...
The selfish reverend....
The "innocent" accuser...
Abigail worked for Elizabeth as a house maid but was dismissed after Elizabeth found out that she had been having an affair with her husband behind the barn. Elizabeth was Abigail's largest target, since Abigail believed that Elizabeth was the only thing standing in the way of her and John's future together.
Elizabeth and John Proctor have a strained relationship for the majority of the play, due to John's infidelity, But by the end of the play, the two reconcile and feel love again. Unfortunately, because John was trying to save Elizabeth, he is accused and goes to the noose. Elizabeth tries to get him to confess and save himself, but ultimately lets him tell the truth of his innocence as a reconciliation with God.
Parris is Abigail's uncle and Reverend of Salem. Late one night he caught her dancing in the woods. He is furious as dancing is a sign of witchcraft and threatens to abandon her if it causes problems in his already thin relationship with the people of Salem. Once Abigail starts accusing people, he stands behind her to protect himself and his job.
Abigail and Mary are friends, and Mary being a timid girl follows the commanding Abby's lead- even when she leads her to lie about accusations, and accidentally plant evidence against Goody Proctor. After the arrest of Elizabeth Proctor, Mary begins to turn on Abby saying, "Ask Abby, Abby say beside me while I made it" (pg 76). But when Mary tries to stop the accusations, Abby accuses her in response and Mary quickly backs down, and returns to following Abby's lead.
John and Elizabeth Proctor
John and Elizabeth Proctor
As mentioned before, John Procter and Abigail Williams had an affair. However the conflict from each point of view differed greatly. Abigail thinks they should be together, and John would give anything to go back and undo this misdeed. As the play progresses, Abigail accuses John Procter's wife of witchcraft. The conflict evolves into John's hatred of Abby and her actions against his wife and he tries to prove Abby is a fraud by trying to force a confession saying, "You will tell the court you are blind to spirits; you cannot see them anymore, and you will never cry witchery again, or I will make you famous for the whore you are!"(pg 152)
John's relationship with his wife is greatly strained after she discovers that he had an affair with Abigail. Elizabeth is greatly hurt and John is full of guilt and anger but wants to move on. Although he had an affair, he loved his wife. In one last effort to prove himself to her, and to show his love, he puts his own reputation on the line and speaks out against Abigail.
John Proctor and Parris' conflict came from their differing views on religion. Proctor feels that Parris preached too much of Hell and damnation, and thus went to church rarely- which reflected badly on John in town. Meanwhile Parris feels that Proctor is no Christian because he plows on Sunday and has a hard time making it to church. The two have animosity between them, which doesn't help Proctor at anytime in the play.
Mary Warren is the Proctor's housemaid after Elizabeth fires Abigail. Mary gives Elizabeth a poppet which is then used as evidence against her. When John tries to get her to help him tell the truth about the accusations and Abby's motives, Abigail's hold over Mary's fate is too strong for Mary. She instead accuses John of being a witch shouting, "Don't touch me...you're the Devil's man!" (pg 118).
John Proctor was a well respected man, who struggled with his own hypocrisy in his relationship with his wife, and with God. He ultimately sacrificed his reputation and even his life, for the sake of his wife, and honesty.
After being dismissed by Elizabeth, Abigail was infuriated when Elizabeth was saying Abigail was untruthful. Of course, Abigail also holds Elizabeth in contempt because she has what Abigail never can again: John.
Mary Warren is Elizabeth's help around the house. The two never really have any conflict, until Mary brings Elizabeth a poppet that provides evidence that Elizabeth is a witch.
In the beginning, Mary tries to convince Abigail to tell the truth about their witchery. Of course, Abby doesn't listen. Through out the rest of the play, Mary is under the thumb of Abigail. When John Proctor tries to get Mary to testify against Abigail, Mary is frightened and, unfortunately, Mary stays loyal to Abigail to the end.
Mary and John never got along very well. He intimidated her, and threatened to whip her on a regular basis, saying "I'll show you a great doin' on your arse...now get you home" (pg 21). When Mary's gift is taken as proof for Elizabeth's witchcraft, John demands that Mary testify against Abigail. Mary is frightened and reveals that she knows all about the affair and that Abigail will "ruin him with it" (pg 80). She eventually agrees to help, but turns against him in the end when she accuses him of being a witch.
Parris was against John because, essentially, John did not like Parris and his preaching. John constantly contradicted his methods. Eventually this becomes irrelevent as John's life is on the line in the end of the play. In an effort to spare innocent lives, Parris hopes to convince Elizabeth to change John's mind about confessing saying, "It is possible sir. He have not laid eyes on her these three months. I should summon her" (pg 130). He does this to spare John, and to save himself from guilt.
Parris is Abigail's uncle. Parris discovers Abigail and some of her friends dancing in the woods. This is against Puritan belief and reflects upon them all badly. Parris admonishes Abigail "...my own household is discovered to be in the center of some obscene practice...I dare not be taken unaware when I go before them down there" (pg 11). Parris does not want to be removed from his high position, and does everything he can to stay.
Putnam had hopes that his brother-in-law will become Minister, but Parris beat him to the position. Putnam bears a grudge toward Parris, and is happy to spread the word that the Minister's niece has been spotted doing unnatural things in the woods.
"...now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" (pg 24)
"Now tell me true Abigail...for now my ministry is at stake, my ministry and perhaps you cousins life.."(pg 11).
Giles accuses Putnam of misdeed saying, "This man is killing his neighbors for their land...The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she'd given him a fair gift of land!" (pg 96)
As Abigail tries to convince John to leave Elizabeth she rants, "She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her!"(pg 24)
Claiming to see her as a bird Abby exclaims, "Oh Mary, this is a black art to change your shape"(pg 115).
During a land dispute Putnam cries,"You load one oak of mind and you'll fight to drag it home!...I'll have my men on you Corey! I'll clap a writ on you!"(pg 32)
John Putnam believed that Giles Corey, and others, were on his land. Putnam went out of his way to accuse people, usually because he wanted their land or felt that the wrongly took his.
John tries to put an end to the affair saying, "Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I'll ever touch you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Abby" (pg 23).
As he tries to repair their marriage he says, "You forget nothin' and you forgive nothin'. Learn charity woman. I have gone tiptoe around this house akk seven month since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you...I come into a court when I come into this house!" (pg 55)
...his need for revenge makes him intent on destroying anyone he feels has done him wrong.
Giles Corey and Putnam were always arguing about whose land was whose. Both men were known to go to court often. Giles Corey tries to save his wife by saying she was unjustly accused by Putnam. Unfortunately for Corey, he was also accused, and was pressed to death by great stones. He never did confess, and Putnam never recieved any of his land...
John tries to persuade Mary to help discredit Abigail saying, "...you will tell the court what you know...My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me!" (pg 80)
John explaims his complaints about Parris's sermons saying,"Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!"(pg 30)
Ann Putnam was very spiteful about the fact that she had lost 7 babies. She felt it was definitely the fault of the physician who helped her. She explaimed, "You think it's God's work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I bury all but one? There are wheels within wheels in this village and fires within fires! (pg 28)
Mrs. Putnam had buried all of her children except one, and her daughter was sick with this witchery. Mrs.Putnam believed it was Rebecca Nurse who was cursing her babies and sent her to the grave. It should be mentioned that Mrs. Putnam herself committed acts of witch craft, asking Tituba to contact her babies from beyond the grave.
After She is accused, Elizabeth tells John that Abigail accused her so that she could finally take her place as John's wife saying,"It is her dearest hope, John, I know it. There be a thousand names; why does she call mine?...She thinks to take my place, John"(pg 61).
Abigail and Proctor
Abigail and her cohort
When Mary gets home from court she presents Elizabeth with a poppet, saying," I made a gift for you today, Goody Proctor" (pg 56).
Testifying in court
Site of the affair
Elizabeth was constantly plagued by the thought of John's infidelity and was rather cold towards John at times, but she was always faithful and devoted to him.
John Proctor's head stone
The poppet that incriminated Elizabeth
Abigail tries to steal John away from Elizabeth saying,"You'll tear it free-when you come to know that I will be your only wife or no wife at all! She has an arrow in you yet, John Proctor..."(pg 63).
"He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!" (pg 145)
Mary was a frightened and timid girl, always under someone's thumb.
Always afriad of consequences, Mary's fear is part of what prompts the girls to accuse others. She said,"Abby, we've got to tell the truth. Witchery's a hanging error..." (pg 18) Abby then realizes that in order to stave off suspicion from themselves, the should accuse others.
Mary shows her true fear of Abby as she exclaims, " She'll kill me for saying that!" (pg 80)
John Proctor attempts to save his wife by prompting Mary to confess to being the real maker of the poppet. "You will tell the court how that poppet come here and who stuck the needle in" (pg 80)
Reverend Parris defends his sermon's saying, "It is not for you to say what is good for you to hear!" (pg 30)
John and Elizabeth at the gallows
After she was accused, Rebecca Nurse refused to confess even to save herself saying, "Why, it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself? I cannot, I cannot" (pg 140). She knew that Lying was a sin and would damn her soul.
Ann Putnam accused Rebecca and Rebecca refused to lie and confess to something she had not done. This convinces John that, in order to be a good man, he must tell the truth. And for that they both hang.
Thomas Putnam believed that Giles Corey, and others were infringing on his land. Putnam played a large role in accusations of others, as he wanted their land or felt they had wrongly taken his.
Ann Putnam had lost 7 children after childbirth. She was very sad and angry about this fact, and believed that God could not have allowed it, so it must have been Rebecca Nurse, who had helped her deliver all seven of them. It was Putnam's accusation that resulted in Rebecca Nurse's hanging.
Rebecca Nurse was an old woman in the village who had been a physician of sorts in the town.
"Wait for no one to
charge you-declare it yourself"(pg 16)
Giles Corey was always a crotchety, but loveable trouble maker in the town. Although he took many people to court, he was generally well liked.
Ann Putnam was one of the wealthiest women in the town, and was used to getting what she wanted. She was devout, and searched for any reason for why her babies were dying.
"Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character. I have given you a home, child" (Act one).
Reverend Parris inquires to Abby about her dismissal from the Proctors and mentions,"I have heard it said, and I tell you as I heard it, that she (Goody Proctor)come so rarely to the church this year for she will not sit so close to something soiled" (Act one).
Elizabeth was sick during most of the winter and could not make it to church. Together with her husband's disdain for the reverend, the Proctor's did not have a very good relationship with the Reverend.
Mrs. Putnam explains her explanation to Reverend Parris saying,"I have laid seven babies unbaptized in the earth. Believe me, sir, you never saw more hearty babies born. And yet, each would wither in my arms the very night of their birth. I have spoke nothin', but my heart has clamored intimations. And now, this year, my Ruth, my only – I see her turning strange."