Who was accused of killing babies in The Crucible?

Sarah Osborne and Rebecca Nurse are both accused of murdering Ann Putnam's babies in The Crucible.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Arthur Miller's celebrated playThe Crucible , Ann Putnam sends her daughter, Ruth, to consult Tituba in an attempt to discover who murdered her babies. Ann Putnam has lost seven newborn babies and is convinced that they died by supernatural means. Ann believes that Tituba has the power...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Arthur Miller's celebrated play The Crucible, Ann Putnam sends her daughter, Ruth, to consult Tituba in an attempt to discover who murdered her babies. Ann Putnam has lost seven newborn babies and is convinced that they died by supernatural means. Ann believes that Tituba has the power to conjure the dead and trusts that she will find out who killed her babies. When Ruth consults Tituba, Reverend Parris surprises them in the forest, and Ruth falls into a strange stupor, which is similar to Betty Parris's mysterious illness. Ann Putnam travels to Parris's home, where she meets Reverend John Hale from Beverly.

Reverend Hale is an expert in supernatural phenomena and is determined to expose the witches in Salem. Tituba becomes the scapegoat and confesses that Sarah Osborne is a witch. Immediately after Sarah Osborne is named, Ann Putnam mentions that Sarah was her midwife three times and says that her babies always "shriveled in her hands." Later on, Ann Putnam accuses Rebecca Nurse of engaging in witchcraft and murdering four of her babies. In act 2, Francis Nurse visits John Proctor's home and informs him that Rebecca has been arrested for the "marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies." Despite Rebecca Nurse's stellar reputation, she is arrested and brought to trial. Tragically, Rebecca Nurse refuses to offer a false confession and dies a martyr alongside John Proctor.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on