The Crucible Essay

Submitted By jannagauthier
Words: 772
Pages: 4

What Lies Beneath When bad situations arise, people are motivated by different things. In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, witchcraft takes over the village called Salem. In the beginning of the play, some adults become worried about their daughters demeanor after they are seen dancing in the forest. The young women act as if they are in critical condition that may possibly be a coma. Abigail Williams, one of the girls found in the woods, seemed as if she was not affected by the "coma". Abigail then begins to accuse citizens of practicing witchcraft. Miller makes it especially clear why John Proctor, Abigail Williams, and Rebecca Nurse act the way they do.
John Proctor is a remorseful yet loving husband. Proctor is the leading man of the play. Proctor was a man who speaks his mind. He is seen as a very honorable man who enjoyed calling out hypocrites. John had a very huge ego and respected himself most. John is married to a very faithful woman named Elizabeth. John himself is not faithful; he had an affair with his house maid Abigail Williams. During the witch trials, Proctor is motivated by his love for his wife and his willpower to fix their marriage. “Proctor: We never touched/ Abigail: Aye, but we did/Proctor: Aye, but we did not.” (Miller 1.23) Proctor attempts to conceal the affair between him and Abigail. Although Elizabeth already knew about him committing lechery, he continues to worry about the word getting out because their marriage was still on the edge; his religion is strongly against it. Another motivation for Proctor is his guilt caused by adultery. “I have known her sir! I have known her!” (Miller 3.110) Proctor confesses to the court of his wrong doing. Proctor sacrificed his own reputation for the lives of his friends and wife who are in “witch prison” John Proctor shows that he believes he deserves punishment and is an act of heroism.
Abigail Williams is a spiteful young woman and lies all throughout the play. Williams is the main antagonist in the play. She is motivated by jealousy towards John and Elizabeth’s marriage. “Abigail: Oh, I marvel how such a strong man may let such a sickly wife be-/ Proctor: You speak nothing of Elizabeth!/ Abigail: She is blackening my name in the village!” (Miller 2.30) In this scene, Abigail makes it seem as if she is angry at Elizabeth for messing up her reputation in Salem village. Fact of the matter is Abigail feels envy over Johns love for his wife. Abigail’s actions have no other justification other than envy. Abigail is also motivated by power. In devilish ways, Abigail finds the idea of having advantages over the citizens amazing. “I go back to Jesus! I kiss his hand! I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osbourne with the Devil! I saw Bridgit Bishow with the Devil!” Williams is manipulative and a great liar. She decides to falsely accuse people she does not like. She