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Reverend Parris is a weak, paranoid and suspicious demagogue, Parris instigates the witchcraft panic when he finds his daughter and niece dancing in the woods with several other girls. Parris is continually beset with fears that others conspire against him. Parris knows the truth that Abigail is lying about the dancing and the witchcraft, but perpetuates the deception because it is in his own self interest. Parris fears any defense against the charges of witchcraft as an attack upon the court and a personal attack on him. As a pastor, his primary concern is personal aggrandizement - he strives for monetary compensation, including the deed to the preacher's house and expensive candlesticks.