Abigail’s Versus Chillingworth’s Revenge
What does revenge mean? The definition is "to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit" (dictionary.com). What does that mean? It means to give punishment to someone who deserves it for some specific reason, especially if the reason was personal or offends to the person giving the revenge. In both The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter there was revenge. However, they both had different types of revenge and how it was used.
There was a lot of revenge in The Crucible. The first person that was using revenge in The Crucible is Thomas Putnam. From the beginning of the play, Thomas Putnam had grudges against Francis Nurse for preventing his brother-in-law from being elected to run for office as minister. "Thomas Putnam's man for the Salem ministry was Bayley. The Nurse clan had been in the faction that prevented Bayley's taking office" (Act 1). He also dislikes George Jacobs because they have had land disputes in the past. Thomas Putnam decides to have his daughter Ruth charge witchcraft against the man. He does this because if George Jacobs is executed, then Thomas Putnam can buy all of George Jacobs' land. Giles Corey knows this and in the book he says, "If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property - that's law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land" (Act 3)! Another person that Thomas Putnam wants to have revenge against is the "witch" that the people of Salem have been trying to find since the very beginning. He and his wife are the reason that the whole witchcraft hysteria went out of control. Thomas Putnam and his wife were very upset about how they lost seven newborns and now their only living child, Ruth, is sick. In the book Mrs. Putnam says: "Reverend Parris, I have laid seven babies unbaptized in the earth. Believe me, sir, you never saw more hearty babies born. And yet, each would wither in my arms the very night of their birth. I have spoke nothin', but my heart has clamored intimations. And now, this year, my Ruth, my only – I see her turning strange. A secret child she has become this year, and shrivels like a sucking mouth were pullin’ on her life too." (Act 1) They are desperate and try to convince Reverend Parris to tell everyone what he saw with the girls dancing in the woods. One of the girls was naked, Tituba was doing some Barbuda spell, and something with a frog in it was boiling in a pot. The last thing that Thomas Putnam does for revenge is when Giles Corey accuses Thomas Putnam of using the witch trials as a way to get land much cheaper than it is worth by accusing people and having them executed and then buying their land. Giles Corey is pressed to death, for not telling the court who told him this information and Putnam gets his revenge. He refuses to confess because he knows he will lose his land. He knew if he just dies without being guilty by the court then his sons will get the land but if he confesses he loses the land so he has them put more weight on him and he dies. His last words in the play were "More weight." Thomas Putnam's wife, Mrs. Putnam, has Rebecca Nurse arrested for the supernatural murder of her seven babies because Rebecca was her midwife. Mrs. Putnam is very jealous of the other wives because she had seven stillbirths. The main person that uses revenge in the play is Abigail Williams. She is a cruel, selfish girl that will do anything to get with John Proctor. So, naturally, she hates his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, more than anything in the world. Here's a quote from the book showing how Abigail dislikes Elizabeth, "She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her" (Act 1). The first reason she hates Elizabeth Proctor is because she fired Abigail from being her servant because Elizabeth found out that her husband,...
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