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

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I agree with the previous commenter that Abigail Williams is, undoubtedly, the character most responsible for the deaths in the witch trials. However, I think one could make a good argument that Deputy Governor Danforth is, likewise, very responsible. She is the main accuser, but he is the one who gives legal weight to her accusations; she names names, but he believes her (or claims to). In Act Three, he tells Francis Nurse, "a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between . . ." Problematically, Danforth interprets people's fear of the court or any concern that the girls are dishonest as evidence that they could be working against the court. He believes that, if someone is innocent, then they have nothing to fear from the court, and we've already seen that this is flatly untrue.

Moreover, Danforth tells John Proctor, "We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment." Unfortunately, he is completely wrong here, too. The accusing girls...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 916 words.)

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