Which one character is most responsible for the deaths of the innocent in Salem?

2 Answers

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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While many different characters in Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" pointed fingers at innocent other villagers, Abigail Williams is most responsible for the deaths which took place in the play. Although Abigail did not accuse all of those arrested and tried on witchcraft charges, she was the first character to "cry witch."

The hysteria that broke out in Salem, in the play, was all based upon the fact that Abigail could not face the fact that she had been caught by Reverend Parris dancing in the woods with Tituba. While not alone, there were many other girls with her, Abagail feared that the truth about her asking Tituba to create a potion to kill Goody Proctor would become common knowledge in the village. Abigail's name had already been soiled by Goody Proctor firing her after finding out about the affair between her husband (John Proctor) and Abigail. If it were to come out that Abigail had danced naked and drank blood in order to kill Goody Proctor her name would be even more blackened.

Therefore, in order to save herself, Abigail began the accusations by stating that Tituba was a witch. From there on out, the accusations began to fly. Not only did she name Tituba as a witch, Abigail named many other Salem women as witches as well.

While she was not responsible for all of the accusations, Abigail certainly put it into the minds of the other villagers that accusations would be taken very seriously by the courts. Therefore, Abigail Williams was (by far) the most responsible for the many deaths in Salem.

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swiz67 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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Abigail. She starts the blame game, and she uses it to her advantage in order to point the finger ar someone else.