13 September 2018
Who is Really to Blame?
Abigail Williams is the pebble that gets the avalanche of the Salem Witch Trials started.
Although she is responsible for starting the witch trials, she is not entirely to blame for the
outcome of the entire play. Abigail is a cruel and manipulative girl who will do anything to get
what she wants and keep herself out of trouble. Abigail did not intend on creating the witch
trials; however, she did not do anything to stop them once they began. Although Abigail
Williams is a jealous and conniving teenage girl, she cannot ultimately be blamed for the
outcome of the Salem Witch Trials.
The Crucible begins with Revered Parris discovering his daughter Betty, niece Abigail,
salve Tituba, and other young girls in the town dancing in the forest. Betty faints in fright when
discovered. When questioned, Abigail claims they were just dancing, though it soon comes out
that Tituba was trying to conjure dead spirits. Tituba gets a confession beat out of her by
Reverend Parris for punishment for her wrong doings. Tituba confesses to compacting with the
devil. She admits to Reverend Hale that she saw others in the Devil’s company (Miller 50).
Tituba claims that she “do believe somebody else be witchin’ these children”, going on to say
that Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn have both been practicers of witch craft (Miller 47,50).
Abigail, seeing that she'll be punished unless she joins Tituba in naming names, leaps up and
begins to say “I want to open myself… I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn
with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! (Miller 50). Betty wakes and starts to
accuse other people in Salem as well. Abigail lying and Tituba starting the accusations are
ultimately what started the Salem Witch Trials.
The Putnam’s are the next in line to get the ball rolling in the play. Mrs. Putnam lost 7
children all before the age of one. She is set on assigning the blame for the death of her children,
so she is quick to point fingers once the accusations start. After Tituba admitted to seeing Goody
Osburn with the Devil, Mrs. Putnam said “I knew it! Goody Osburn were midwife to me three
times… my babies always shriveled in her hands (Miller 50). Next was Mrs. Putnam’s husband,
Thomas Putnam. In act three it becomes clear that Thomas Putnam was prompting...