The Crucible

Why is it possible to claim that vengeance is a primary motivator? Are there any facts to support the statment?

Between Elizabeth and John Proctor, Abigail and Elizabeth. And any one else in the town.

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This "naming names" allowed the accusations to spread and spread, while also permitting the public airing of grievances and sins. As a member of the blacklist himself, Miller felt particularly strongly about the evil of fingering others to save oneself, and he expresses this idea by having several characters grapple with the requirement that they name names. Giles Corey is held in contempt – the charge that ultimately leads to his execution – for refusing to name the person who told him of Putnam's scheming, and Proctor balks at the court's intention to question the 91 people who signed his declaration of the good character of the accused. But it is at the climax that this theme truly comes to the fore, as Proctor would rather die than accuse more innocent people. Certainly Abigail had it out for Elizabeth Proctor and Mr. Putnam coveted any land he could get his hands on. The trials were an excuse to settle old scores and profit from them as well.


Thomas Putnam has been in many land disputes and wants "his" land from others. He tells Ruth to accuse George Jacobs of witchcraft so that he (Putnam) can get Jacobs' land.