Crucible: Salem Witch Trials and John Proctor Essay Sample

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The Crucible is a play of the Salem witchcraft trials that took place in Salem Massachusetts. The villagers suspect witchcraft after finding out about a girl who is not responding to anything, she seems to be ill. Abigail Williams had an affair with John Proctor. Abigail soon wishes Elizabeth Proctor were dead. Abigail turns on the rest of the village to cover up her lies. To better understand the similarities and differences of Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor in the play, The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller. One must think of the elements of love, personalities of persons, and the maturity of females as displayed by the characters.

Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams can be compared and contrasted when focusing of elements of love displayed for John Proctor. Elizabeth Proctor was very faithful to her husband. She loved him and stood by him through everything. When she had to tell the court about her husband, Elizabeth said, “My husband is a good and righteous man. He is never drunk as some are, nor wastin’ his time at the shovelboard, but always his work” (Miller 113, IV). Elizabeth always demonstrates her love for her husband by standing up for him even though he cheated on her with Abigail Williams.

Abigail Williams is madly in love with John Proctor, but he never completely expresses the same feelings for her. Abigail Williams says to John Proctor, “I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You love me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet” (Miller 24, I). Abigail tries to get John to be hers by using those words. When Abigail failed at winning John’s heart, she resorts to “black magic” as a form of revenge. Elizabeth and Abigail both love John and they both try to do what they think is best for John.

Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams have the similar and different personalities of individual persons. Elizabeth Proctor is a very reserved person, which doesn’t complain. Whenever her husband is confused, she prompts him onto the path of justice. Elizabeth never tries to tell people what to do. When Reverend Hale urges Elizabeth to go have her husband confess, she stays put and does not go with him. When she does talk to John, Elizabeth says, “I cannot judge you, John” (Miller 135, IV). Elizabeth Proctor is not a judging woman. Abigail Williams is a very deceitful character. Abigail always thought she could go through life lying to everybody, even her uncle. She never looked like a dangerous women, but she was. Abigail was a very beautiful woman on the outside, but she was pure evil on the inside. Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams are both stubborn characters and they both end up lying in the end.

Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams have very different maturity levels. Elizabeth Proctor is very mature and Abigail Williams is very immature being. Elizabeth Proctor does nothing wrong besides lying to take care of her family. Elizabeth Proctor only wants the best for her family. Abigail Williams is very immature for a young adult. Abigail would always make up a bunch of lies to cover up that she was potentially wanting to practice, witch craft in the woods. Abigail always threatens people when they want to tell the truth. Abigail would tell them, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word about the other things, and I will come back of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shutter you. And I know I can do that” (Miller 20, I). Abigail said this to the girls when she felt that they would speak the truth behind her back.

The Crucible has some elements one must consider when it comes to comparing and contrasting Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams, like of love, personalities of persons, and the maturity of females. This play is about a small group of teen girls, in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, caught in an innocent conjuring of love potions to catch young men. The Crucible is a good play and it is work that should be read by juniors so that students can get the concept of what life was like in the late 1600s.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1976. Print.

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