In the novel, The Crucible, both scapegoats and vengeance play prominent roles.
Abigail Williams exhibits both these characteristics. She committed the greatest of crimes.
She destroyed the reputations of many and killed much of her surrounding society. Her
power lied in the fact that judges believed her, making all those women who fell victim to
her scapegoats. She is the one who triggers off a sense of hate in the play. She tempts
John Proctor into lechery, and to escape punishment for dancing, she deflects the actions
and blames them on someone else, and does not care how many lives she ruins. Later
when she grows into power and influence, she seems to enjoy sending these innocent
people to their deaths. Of course, the people she accuses are actually innocent, but she has
the ability to manipulate people into believing that she is doing good. Reverend Hale, the
witchcraft expert who initiates the problems in Salem, is positive about his belief that there
are witches and feels that he carrying out the desires of God himself. Yet, as the play
moves on, Hale notices that honest and good people are being sentenced and executed.
Abigail lied to get some backing on her accusations by accusing two of the worst
ladies in town of being witches, as well as the black slave from Barbados, Tituba. This was
very believable, as these women held no social rank among the town. Vengeance is a
quality that allows a person to want to seek revenge on another. This is typical of Abigail.
She wanted John Proctor, and to get him, she was rounding up accusations of Elizabeth,
his wife. Abigail was plotting to get Proctor, she was not just doing it out of the heat of
passion, she had it in for his wife. She thought that it was the only thing that stood in her
way. She was not going to stop until her death had been accomplished. Also in the play,
many other names of towns-women were called out, accusing them of being witches, only
for the fact that someone wanted to get revenge on them.
For the reasons I have described, the characters in The Crucible make and are
made scapegoats, out of vengeance and hatred for them.