Crucible Characters Character Analysis

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The Crucible The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a dramatic play based during the mid-1600s when the Salem Witch Trials took place. A group of young teenage girls accuse many of witchcraft even though it may or may not be true. Their accusations stir up a violent and unexpected outcome. There were definitely no small characters in this story. Specific characters such as Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Mary Warren change the dynamics of this drama to increase dramatic conflict.

In The Crucible, Abigail Williams, a seductive teenager, represents the Black Widow character archetype because of her manipulative ways to get the things that she wants. The Black Widow destroys anything she wants. Like Abigail, the Black Widow will lure someone into her web, trapping him or her until they have suffered for her own pleasure. When speaking of their previous affairs, John Proctor, a married farmer, requests that Abigail forgets it and speaks of it no more. But Abigail does not want to. “You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet! Miller 24)” Almost threatening-like, Abigail tells John Proctor he will love her. Abigail and her friends have a secret: They danced in the woods naked while conducting witchcraft, which is a sin. Abigail will do everything in her power to clear her name. Even if that means accusing innocent men and women of witchcraft and being “seen” with the Devil. When Abigail is almost caught for doing what she did, she panics and quickly blames Tituba, Reverend Parris’ slave from Barbados, for forcing her to do these diabolical things. “She sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer! Miller 44)” Most of Abby’s accusations force people to confess to witchcraft even if they did not do it because if the didn’t they would be hanged. During the trail of those who were accused, John Proctor uses Mary Warren, Proctor’s timid servant, to prove that Abigail Williams is lying. When Danforth, the judge for the witch trials, asks if she had done any of these things, she refuses. “Let you beware, Mr. Danforth. Think you be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! (Miller 108)” Abby then accused Mary for witchcraft.

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Abigail’s lies throughout the play are the reason the trials take place and the reason for all the innocent lives lost. There is absolutely no doubt that her seductive and manipulative charms are what stir up the conflicts. Abigail Williams will do absolutely anything in her power to get the things she wants. She’s so good at luring those into her web that she makes her victims plead to be deceived. As for John Proctor, a married man and farmland owner, is known as the repentant sinner character archetype because he is guilty for committing adultery and longs for a second chance.

Before the play begins, John Proctor and Abigail Williams have a secret affair. Though John Proctor regrets him and Abigail’s relationship, there is no way to take back the sins he has committed. When the two confront each other of their previous affair, Abigail attempts to seduce John to give her the love she wants. But John will not give in, “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Abby. (Miller 23)” Proctor refuses to commit another sin.

He deeply regrets his mistake of committing adultery. When declaring Abigail is a “whore”, Danforth requests Proctor for proof. This leaving John Proctor no other choice than to confess his sin: “I have known her, sir. I have known her. (Miller 110)” At this turning point, John Proctor wishes for his second chance. Unfortunately, when john and Mary try to prove that Abigail Williams is lying, Mary turns against Proctor. Abigail had gotten the best of Mary and she could no longer contain herself. It is then that Mary Warren accuses John Proctor of witchery.

After being accused, John Proctor is at his most climactic moment of the story. He is left with two options: confess and live his whole life with everyone knowing he is a witch, or deny it and be hanged. “I say – I say – God is dead! (Miller 119)” Proctor confessed to being seen with the Devil. This moment brings a dramatic ending to Act Three. With John Proctor as one of the biggest characters in The Crucible, he brings extreme dramatic conflict to the story with the plot twists his character creates.

A very interesting character in The Crucible is Mary Warren, the Proctor’s servant. Mary’s character archetype is the Parasite. The Parasite is a follower. She is a victim at her own will. She blames other people for her crimes only to save herself. When Elizabeth Proctor has been arrested after being accused of witchcraft, Mary tells Proctor that Abigail Williams was the one to blame. “I cannot charge murder on Abigail… She’ll kill me for sayin’ that! Abby’ll charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor… I have known it, sir.

She’ll ruin you with it, I know she will. (Miller 80)” Mary Warren shows her weakness and implies that she is not capable of facing someone like Abigail Williams and neither is John Proctor. In court, when Proctor and Mary Warren go to prove that Abigail and the rest of the girls are lying, Abigail only made Mary Warren feel defeated and weaker than she already was. “I – have no power. (Miller 117)” Admitting that she is no match for Abigail Williams, Mary gives in to Abby’s powers. Near the end of Act Three, Mary’s character begins to foil.

If she did not confess of John Proctor’s “witchery” Mary had the possibility of being hanged. “You’re the Devil’s man! (Miller 118)” Mary Warren blames John Proctor of witchery only to save herself because that’s all she wishes for. With Mary Warren blaming John Proctor of witchcraft, she increases the dramatic conflict at an extreme. Each and every one of these archetypes defines each character so well. Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Mary Warren each fit their character archetypes so well and help structure this dramatic story.

Abigail Williams, the Black Widows, lured all her victims (John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Mary Warren, etc. ) into her web and tangled them until she attacked. Just like how she let everyone suffer just the right amount until finally they have reached their end. John Proctor, the Repentant Sinner, was filled with regret and only wished to be forgiven for his sins. He committed adultery with Abigail Williams. If they had not done it in the first place, this drama would possibly not have occurred.

Mary Warren, the Parasite, blamed John Proctor for things he did not commit only to save herself because she did not have a choice. Abigail blamed Proctor, Proctor blamed Abigail, and Mary blamed them both. All so they could save themselves. Blaming others for the wrong things are what cause a mass hysteria and that is what happened in the Salem Witch Trials. There was no knowledge of specific evidence. If there were, many innocent lives would have been saved. Arthur Miller proved his point that mass hysteria is wrong by increasing the dramatic conflict of the characters in The Crucible.

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