The Crucible: characters

The Crucible: Characters for AQA Drama GCSE Revision

Key Protagonists

  • John Proctor: The tragic protagonist characterised by his honesty, independence, and stubborn pride. Proctor maintains high moral standards despite past sins. His courage and dignity eventually lead him to prefer death over betraying principles.

  • Elizabeth Proctor: John’s wife known for her virtue but also her coldness, struggles to forgive her husband’s adultery. Her inability to trust initially fuels the conflict, but her later understanding and forgiveness show her ability for compassion and personal growth.

Main Antagonists

  • Abigail Williams: The main antagonist is cunning and manipulative. Williams instigates the witch trials out of vengeance and desire. Her lies create hysteria in Salem, leading to innocent executions.

  • Judge Danforth: As the Deputy Governor of Massachusetts and the presiding judge, Danforth represents the blind, irrational authority that exacerbates the mass hysteria.

  • Thomas and Ann Putnam: Wealthy landowners who exploit the witch trials out of greed and envy, thereby contributing to Salem’s chaos.

Characters in Authority

  • Reverend John Hale: A respected minister knowledgeable in witchcraft, Hale initially supports the trials. After witnessing their destructive consequences, he emerges as a voice of reason, advocating for justice and rationality.

  • Reverend Parris: A self-centred and paranoid priest, Parris is fearful of losing his position. He supports the witch trials to preserve his reputation.

Supporting Characters

  • Mary Warren: A servant in the Proctor household, Warren exemplifies the impact of fear and hysteria as she shifts loyalties and succumbs to chaos.

  • Giles Corey: The fiery and outspoken farmer with a rebellious spirit, Corey meets a heroic end, refusing to accuse others unjustly.

  • Tituba: Reverend Parris’s Barbadian slave, her susceptibility leads her to kickstart the witch hunt via her admissions of compacting with the devil.

Remember, achieving a deep understanding of each character’s motivations, actions, and their influence on the plot significantly contributes to the critical analysis and discussion of the play.