The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Who is to blame for the tragic events of The Crucible?

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Most people tend to feel that Abigail Williams is to blame for what happened in The Crucible. She is the master manipulator who fools an entire town into believing that witches are running amok. However, I think two other people share a large portion of the blame: Judge Danforth and Thomas Putnam.

Judge Danforth is the one who actually sentences people upon finding them guilty, and he does so without any real evidence of witchcraft. He bases his rulings almost entirely on Abigail and her friends' accounts, which we know are untrue. His rulings are also very rigid; defendants are either guilty or innocent, and there is no opportunity to appeal or review his decision. He contributes to the hysteria by telling the people that they are either with him or against him. Townspeople realize that they must lie in order to survive and kill others, or tell the truth and die while others live.

Thomas Putnam is also guilty because he's pretty closely aligned with Abigail's tactics. He accuses for his...

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