Reverend Parris- Pastor of the
church in Salem. He is the father of Betty and the uncle of Abigail Williams. He believes that he is being persecuted and that
the townspeople do not respect his position as a man
of God. He secures his
desires in the town by preaching fire and brimstone until the people give in. The townspeople have ousted the last few pastors
and Parris fears that he may be next. It is only
too easy for him to believe
the girls because to not believe them would mean that the trouble would be in his own house (Betty and Abigail). If he cannot
control his own household, he may not be trusted with
an entire village.
Betty Parris- Daughter of
the Reverend, cousin to Abigail Williams. She is a weak girl
who goes along with her cousin as soon as she is threatened. Until Abigail
gives her a valid explanation for dancing in the woods,
she lies mute in her bed,
terrified of her father's reaction. She is easily made into Abigail's
Tituba-Servant to the Parris household. She is a native of Barbados. She is enlisted
Ruth Putnam and Abigail
to cast spells and create charms. When Abigail turns on her to save herself from punishment, Tituba
confesses to all and saves herself.
Abigail Williams- Orphaned niece of Reverend Parris. She was once the lover of John
Proctor but was turned out when
his wife discovered the affair. She
is extremely jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and uses her power in the
town to rid herself of Elizabeth as well as any others who have
insulted her in the past. She cannot let go of her obsession with
Proctor. She is the leader of the girls.
Susanna Walcott-One of the girls. She is initially sent between Parris and Dr. Griggs to
determine the cause of Betty's ailment.
She is easily guided by Abigail.
Ann Putnam-Wife of Thomas Putnam, mother to Ruth. She is a very superstitious
woman and believes that the deaths of
so many of her babies in childbirth
was caused by supernatural means. She sends her daughter to Tituba to
cast a spell to discover the murderer.
Thomas Putnam-Husband of Ann
Putnam, father to Ruth. He is a powerful man in the village with a long family line. He forces his way in whatever matters
benefit him and becomes extremely bitter when he doesn't
succeed. He is accused
of coercing his daughter to accuse people, for example, George Jacobs, in order to gain their forfeited land.
Mercy Lewis- Servant to the Putnam household. She is a merciless girl who seems to
delight in the girls' activities.
The threats Abigail uses on the other girls
are unnecessary for Mercy. When Abigail eventually leaves town, Mercy
goes with her.
Mary Warren-Servant to the Proctor household. Abigail uses her to effectively accuse
Elizabeth. John Proctor takes
Mary to the court to confess that the girls
are only pretending. She is not strong enough to fight Abigail and as
soon as Abigail leads the other girls against her, Mary
caves and runs
back to her
side by accusing Proctor himself.
John Proctor-Husband to Elizabeth. He had an affair with Abigail when she was
employed in his household. He
knows that the girls are pretending but
cannot tell what he knows without revealing having been alone with
Abigail. When Abigail uses her influence to convict his wife, he tries
to tell the truth and finds himself condemned. He refuses to admit to
witchcraft or to consider Abigail as anything more than
a lying whore.
He is hanged.
Rebecca Nurse-Wife to Francis
Nurse. She is a pious old woman who has often acted as a midwife for women of the town, including Ann Putnam. She is
accused of witchcraft by the girls and convicted of the supernatural
murder of the Putnam babies. News of her arrest reveals how out of
control the situation has become and inspires Elizabeth
Proctor to urge her husband
to go to the court with the truth about Abigail. Rebecca refuses to admit to witchcraft to the end and is hanged.
Giles Corey- Husband to Martha. He inadvertently gives out information that is later
used against his wife. He
accuses Thomas Putnam of using Ruth to
condemn people for his personal gain. Realizing his source will be arrested,
he refuses to reveal it feeling that he has done too
much damage already.
arrested for contempt of court. He is eventually pressed to death when
he refuses to enter a plea (pleading guilty or being
convicted would mean
of his land, leaving his sons with no inheritance).
Reverend John Hale-He is considered to be, and considers himself, an expert on
witchcraft. He is initially summoned to determine
devil is in Salem
and enthusiastically participates in the court
proceedings. When he finally realizes that the girls are lying,
it is too late to change the course of action. He attempts to
convince the condemned to admit to witchcraft and save
themselves from death.
Elizabeth Proctor- Wife of John Proctor. She discovered an affair going on between her
husband and Abigail Williams and
turned Abigail out of her house.
She is Abigail's main target but is saved from hanging because of
her pregnancy. She feels responsible for driving her husband to
infidelity. When he decides that he will not lie to save himself,
she supports his decision though it will leave her alone. She
feels that if he must redeem himself in this way, she cannot take it
Nurse- Husband to Rebecca Nurse. He is a respected man in the community
but is ignored when he attempts to speak for his wife.
The old levels of respect
and power in the community are gone as the girls take over.
Ezekiel Cheever- He is the clerk of the court during the witchcraft trials. It is his
job to deliver warrants for the
arrest of the accused.
Marshal Herrick-Marshal of Salem.
Judge Hathorne- The judge presiding over the witch trials.
Deputy Governor Danforth- He seems to feel particularly strongly that the girls
are honest. He is sensitive to the presence of
and reacts explosively
to whatever evidence is presented.
Sarah Good- One of the accused. She admits to witchcraft to save herself from death.
Four of the accused
died in prison. As many as thirteen others also died there, as prisoners could not be released
if they had not paid their prison expenses. The actual number of prison deaths is not accurately
accounted for. As mentioned before, Giles Corey was pressed to death. The others died on
Bishop George Burroughs Martha Carrier
Martha Corey Mary Easty Sarah Good
Elizabeth Howe George Jacobs Sr. Susannah Martin
Rebecca Nurse Alice Parker Mary Parker
John Proctor Ann Pudeator Wilmott Redd
Margaret Scott Samuel Wardwell Sara Wildes
John Willard Giles Corey Sarah Osborn
Roger Toothaker Lyndia Dustin Ann Foster