The Crucible: Characters And Their Emotions Essay, Research Paper
The Crucible reveals that people’s private emotions and desires often have consequences far beyond their own lives. Three characters that share that quality and who contributed greatly to the outbreak of hysteria in Salem are John Proctor, Abigail Williams, and Elizabeth Proctor. All these characters, in one way or another brought eminence suspicion and/or emotional relief into the town of Salem.
Proctor had to deal with both sides of Salem’s controversy. In most eyes Proctor was a good man, but some of the things he’d done and said leave a few with different opinions. Proctor grew emotionally and as a character in whole. He started off as an outspoken man who didn’t attend church for personal reasons not accepted by many others. Proctor hesitates to expose Abigail’s true “identity”, because he worries that their past relationship would be discovered and his name ruined.He had committed adultery, which in colonial times (and according to one of the Commandments) was a horrid thing to do. Thomas Putman accuses Proctor of never going to church, but Proctor claimed that was beaus his sermons were more of the devil than God. Also, because his skepticism of witchcraft, Proctor was torn between the truth and falsehood. He chose to testify against Abigail despite the fact that he felt bad, and that he might still have feelings for her, but in the end he felt that it wasn’t worth it. Proctor has to make another major decision. He had to choose between signing a false confession which could ruin the fate of his community, or sacrificing his life to save his friends. By choosing not to sign the confession, Proctor was executed, but his strength, courage, and his infatuation with the good of the community, gave him the title “hero” of the story.
Abigail Williams is another character who contributed to the main plot of the play. Her young and innocent appearance gave people the wrong impression. Abigail was a deceitful person who didn’t care about the outcome of her actions, only if it involved herself. She had once been John Proctor’s lover, but was soon cast aside. Abby’s jealousy towards Elizabeth Proctor caused her to resort to blackmail. She couldn’t take the fact that John no longer loved her the way he did, and that he wanted to pretend that nothing ever happen. Abby not only went against Elizabeth, but against anyone she could think of that she didn’t care for. As the thought’s and ideas of witchcraft and devil worship spread through Salem, and words of other witch-hunts filled newspapers, Abby had found an easier way to get rid of her rivals without hurting her name even more. By accusing them, or convincing others to accuse, Abby was able to place many innocent people on trial for witchcraft.
Elizabeth Proctor didn’t have a real major role in the play, but in the shadows of it all she somehow became an extremely important character. Elizabeth had fired Abigail because she had found out her husband, John Proctor, was having an affair with her. That outraged Abigail, and gave her an excuse to have a grudge against Elizabeth. Elizabeth ignored Abigail’s foolish actions, and tried her hardest to keep John out of prison, and tried to convince him to reveal Abigail’s true self. Elizabeth is accused of being a witch, and instead of fighting for the truth, she cooperates. When questioned by Danforth, she claimed John was a good man, and an honest man, and didn’t admit to him ever having an affair. Her strength and courage saved her husband’s name, but put her at risk.
Every character in the story played a role crucial to the development of the plot. Their emotions, actions, and views on things differed, but in a way that contributed to the story. The characters personal emotions sometimes control the lives of people other than themselves, in good ways and in bad. What they believed and how they reacted had major consequences, and the desires of one another caused things to change.