Tituba in ‘The Crucible’: Scapegoats and the Shadows of Salem

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Tituba’s Testimony and John Proctor’s Peril: The Spiral of Accusations in Salem

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play about the Salem witch trials that happened in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692-1693. In the play, girls from the town of Salem claim they were witched by a slave from Barbados named Tituba. The main girl in the play is named Abigail Williams, who claims Tituba tortured her in her sleep and spoke to the devil. Tituba denied these claims and said she does these dances and sings songs because that is the religion in Barbados.

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The girls are all arrested, including Tituba and Abigail, and are put on trial for witchery. They have to prove who witches them, or they will hang. John Proctor, the husband of Elizabeth Proctor (one of the women who is arrested in Salem for witchery), gets all the blame thrown at him. While trying to free his wife from the claims against her, he is blamed by Mary Warren for being the witch who conjures her. John says, “I say God is dead” after these claims are put against him. John is thrown in jail for witchery too.

Unraveling the Web of Accusations: John Proctor’s Stand and Judge Danforth’s Bias

I think the majority of the blame falls on John. Mary Warren blames John for conjuring her, and the judge takes him as the head of all of the things that happened. In the end, he is hung because he will not lie and says he is not guilty of conjuring the devil. After he is hung, all of the other people accused are sentenced to hang because they followed his footsteps and didn’t sign the paper saying they are guilty of witchery. I believe if John did sign the paper saying he was guilty and didn’t hang for it, all of the other women would have followed him and not hung. This shows the judge put all the blame on John for all the shenanigans that happened in Salem.

The villain in this story is Judge Danforth. He gives up on the idea of being innocent until proven guilty and just decides everyone is guilty. I believe he is not a fair judge and is pretty biased. Instead of actually finding out if John is guilty, he just wants him to sign the paper, and he won’t hang. This is unjust and not right, in my opinion; everyone is innocent until proven guilty; you have to have factual evidence before you decide to hang anyone. As discussed in the play, the girls from Salem claim they’re witched by Tituba. Abigail claimed Tituba tortured her in her sleep and also said she spoke with the devil. Tituba did not agree with the claims and told everyone that singing and dancing were normal in Barbados, where Tituba is from. The girls were all arrested and put on trial.


  1. Cotton Mather’s “Wonders of the Invisible World” (1693)
  2. Norton, M. B. (2002). “In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692.”
  3. Rosenthal, B. (1993). “Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692.”
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Tituba in 'The Crucible': Scapegoats and the Shadows of Salem. (2023, Aug 22). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/tituba-in-the-crucible-scapegoats-and-the-shadows-of-salem/