Sarah Osborne The Crucible

Could someone give me a description of the character Sarah Osborne from the play, The Crucible?

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In Act One, the first people Tituba accuses of working for the Devil are Sarah Good and Goody Osborne. Interestingly, Mr. Putnam is the first to suggest Good and Osborne's names, which influences Tituba's testimony against them. Upon hearing that Sarah Osborne is involved in witchcraft, Mrs. Putnam mentions that she had a feeling Goody Osborne was working with the Devil because she was her midwife three times. Mrs. Putnam believes that Sarah Osborne is responsible for the deaths of her three children and says, "My babies always shriveled in her hands!" (Miller, 47). Abigail Williams quickly confirms Tituba's testimony and says that she also witnessed Goody Osborne with the Devil. Sarah Osborne is portrayed as a defenseless social outcast and a drunkard throughout the play, which explains why she was one of the first people targeted as a witch. Similar to Sarah Good, Goody Osborne does not have a positive reputation throughout Salem's community and is, thus, an easy person to target. When Mary Warren returns from Salem's court in Act Two, the audience learns that Goody Osborne was sentenced to hang for witchcraft. 

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Goodwife Osburn is one of the two women named as witches by Tituba, the Reverend Parris's Barbadian slave.  As soon as Tituba names Osburn as a witch (along with Goodwife Good), Mrs. Ann Putnam takes this accusation as proof that Osburn is responsible for the deaths of at least three of her babies because Osburn has served as a midwife to her three times.  "My babies always shriveled in her hands!" she cries.  In order to increase her own credibility as an accuser, Abigail Williams then repeats Tituba's accusation of Goody Osburn again at the very end of the act.  Later, when Mary Warren goes home to the Proctors' house after another long day in court, she tells John and Elizabeth that Goodwife Osburn has been found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to hang.  This is all we learn of Osburn's fate in the play itself.

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Goody (or Goodwife) Osborne is one of the first women accused of witchcraft in Salem.  It is believed that her name is mentioned because she was of a lower class, and therefore the girls knew the accusations against her would not be called into question.  A sickly woman, she had not attended church for three years; a fact which only giving credence to the girls’ claims against her. Tituba also indicates the Goody Osborne has conversed with the devil, but it should be remembered that the Putnam’s have already suggested the name to her, thus giving her a justified reason to call out her name.


Osborne is mentioned in the play, but not seen.  In the 1996 movie version, Arthur Miller added her character to the script.


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