"Abigail Williams, seventeen, enters - a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, with an
endless capacity for dissembling." : to put on a false appearance ; conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense
"when we see the steady and methodical inculcation into humanity of the idea of man's
worthlessness - until redeemed" : to teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
"The Englishmen who landed there were motivated mainly by a hunt for profit. They
had thought to pick off the wealth of the new country and then return rich to
Eng-land. They were a band of individualists, and a much more ingratiating
group than the Massachusetts men." : capable of winning favor
"Hale: You cannot evade me, Abigail." : to elude/avoid
"I have no doubt that people were communing with, and even worshiping, the Devil in Salem, and if the whole truth could be known in this case, as it is in others, we should dis-cover a regular and
conventionalized' propitiation of the dark spirit" : the act of gaining favor with/appeasing someone or something
"In Proctor's presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly - and a Proctor is
always marked for calumny therefore." : a misrepresentation of someone that defames them
"This predilection for minding other people's business was time-honored among the people of Salem, and it undoubtedly created many of the suspicions which were to feed the coming madness." : an established preference for something
"Mary Warren: I am sick, I am sick, Mr. Proctor. Pray, pray, hurt me not. (Her
strangeness throws him op, and her evident pallor and weakness.)" : deficiency of color especially of the face; paleness
"Proctor: The Deputy Governor will permit it?
Mary Warren: He sentenced her. He must. To ameliorate it: But not Sarah Good. For Sarah Good confessed, y'see." : to make better or more tolerable
"Mary Warren: Aye, but then Judge Hathorne say, 'Recite for us your
commandments!' - (leaning avidly toward them) - and of all the ten she could not
say a single one. She never knew no commandments, and they had her in a flat
lie!" : characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit
"Woman, am I so base? Do you truly think me base?" : Having or showing a lack of decency; contemptible, mean-spirited, or selfish.
"(Quite suddenly, as though from the air, a figure appears in the doorway. They
start slightly. It is Mr. Hale. He is different now - drawn a little, and there is a
quality of deference, even of guilt, about his manner now.)" : showing respect
"Hale: Mr. Proctor, your house is not a church; your theology must tell you that." : the study of religious faith, practice, and experience
A local farmer who lives just outside town; Elizabeth Proctor’s husband. A stern, harsh-tongued man, John hates hypocrisy. Nevertheless, he has a hidden sin—his affair with Abigail Williams—that proves his downfall. When the hysteria begins, he hesitates to expose Abigail as a fraud because he worries that his secret will be revealed and his good name ruined.
Reverend Parris’s niece. Abigail was once the servant for the Proctor household, but Elizabeth Proctor fired her after she discovered that Abigail was having an affair with her husband, John Proctor. Abigail is smart, wily, a good liar, and vindictive when crossed.
Reverend John Hale
A young minister reputed to be an expert on witchcraft. Reverend Hale is called in to Salem to examine Parris’s daughter Betty. Hale is a committed Christian and hater of witchcraft. His critical mind and intelligence save him from falling into blind fervor. His arrival sets the hysteria in motion, although he later regrets his actions and attempts to save the lives of those accused.
John Proctor’s wife. Elizabeth fired Abigail when she discovered that her husband was having an affair with Abigail. Elizabeth is supremely virtuous, but often cold.
The minister of Salem’s church. Reverend Parris is a paranoid, power-hungry, yet oddly self-pitying figure. Many of the townsfolk, especially John Proctor, dislike him, and Parris is very concerned with building his position in the community.
Francis Nurse’s wife. Rebecca is a wise, sensible, and upright woman, held in tremendous regard by most of the Salem community. However, she falls victim to the hysteria when the Putnams accuse her of witchcraft and she refuses to confess.
A wealthy, influential man in Salem. Nurse is well respected by most people in Salem, but is an enemy of Thomas Putnam and his wife
An elderly but feisty farmer in Salem, famous for his tendency to file lawsuits. Giles’s wife, Martha, is accused of witchcraft, and he himself is eventually held in contempt of court and pressed to death with large stones
A wealthy, influential citizen of Salem, Putnam holds a grudge against Francis Nurse for preventing Putnam’s brother-in-law from being elected to the office of minister. He uses the witch trials to increase his own wealth by accusing people of witchcraft and then buying up their land.
Thomas Putnam’s wife. Ann Putnam has given birth to eight children, but only Ruth Putnam survived. The other seven died before they were a day old, and Ann is convinced that they were murdered by supernatural means.
The Putnams’ lone surviving child out of eight. Like Betty Parris, Ruth falls into a strange stupor after Reverend Parris catches her and the other girls dancing in the woods at night.
Reverend Parris’s black slave from Barbados. Tituba agrees to perform voodoo at Abigail’s request.
The servant in the Proctor household and a member of Abigail’s group of girls. She is a timid girl, easily influenced by those around her, who tried unsuccessfully to expose the hoax and ultimately recanted her confession
Reverend Parris’s ten-year-old daughter. Betty falls into a strange stupor after Parris catches her and the other girls dancing in the forest with Tituba. Her illness and that of Ruth Putnam fuel the first rumors of witchcraft.
Giles Corey’s third wife. Martha’s reading habits lead to her arrest and conviction for witchcraft.
A man from Salem who acts as clerk of the court during the witch trials. He is upright and determined to do his duty for justice.
The marshal of Salem.
One of the girls in Abigail’s group
A judge who presides, along with Danforth, over the witch trials
The deputy governor of Massachusetts and the presiding judge at the witch trials. Honest and scrupulous, at least in his own mind, Danforth is convinced that he is doing right in rooting out witchcraft.