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Scapegoats And Vengeance In The Crucible Essay, Research Paper

In the play, The Crucible, both scapegoats and vengeance play prominent roles.

Abigail Williams exhibits both these characteristics. She committed the greatest of crimes.

She destroyed the reputations of many and killed much of her surrounding society. Her

power lied in the fact that judges believed her, making all those women who fell victim to

her scapegoats. She is the one who triggers off a sense of hate in the play. She tempts

John Proctor into lechery, and to escape punishment for dancing, she deflects the actions

and blames them on someone else, and does not care how many lives she ruins. Later

when she grows into power and influence, she seems to enjoy sending these innocent

people to their deaths. Of course, the people she accuses are actually innocent, but she has

the ability to manipulate people into believing that she is doing good. Reverend Hale, the

witchcraft expert who initiates the problems in Salem, is positive about his belief that there

are witches and feels that he carrying out the desires of God himself. Yet, as the play

moves on, Hale notices that honest and good people are being sentenced and executed.

Abigail lied to get some backing on her accusations by accusing two of the worst

ladies in town of being witches, as well as the black slave from Barbados, Tituba. This was

very believable, as these women held no social rank among the town. Vengeance is a

quality that allows a person to want to seek revenge on another. This is typical of Abigail.

She wanted John Proctor, and to get him, she was rounding up accusations of Elizabeth,

his wife. Abigail was plotting to get Proctor, she was not just doing it out of the heat of

passion, she had it in for his wife. She thought that it was the only thing that stood in her

way. She was not going to stop until her death had been accomplished. Also in the play,

many other names of towns-women were called out, accusing them of being witches, only

for the fact that someone wanted to get revenge on them.

For the reasons I have described, the characters in The Crucible make and are

made scapegoats, out of vengeance and hatred for them


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