There are three characters that are the most responsible for the witch trials in Salem, which are Abigail Williams for trying to avoid punishment for dancing in the woods and for jealousy towards Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Samuel Parris for trying to protect his good name and his daughter and niece, and Reverend John Hale for being so convinced about the devil running loose in Salem and connecting every minor flaw with witchcraft, even though he later has a change of heart. Out of these three characters only two were thinking to fool the others, Abigail and Parris. Hale, on the other hand, was just a confident man that did everything by the book and thought that was the best way to do it, something we find out when he says referring to his books: “They must be, they are weighted with authority” (Miller 153). Therefore he was not really trying to sabotage or protect anyone.
It is certain that Abigail is the character who is the most responsible for the trials. At first, Abigail and the girls were creating a lie about acting sick because they were caught dancing in the woods, something that was prohibited at the time and that lead to punishment. Puritan punishments were meant to cause either humiliation, physical pain, or both. Some of the Puritan punishments were the ducking stool which was very similar to a common day dunk tank and after the criminal had been dunk the times that she was sentenced to, she had to face the judge wet and humiliated. Also there was the letter wearing which consisted of wearing the letter of the crime you had committed, there was the whipping, the cutting of ears or fingers, and as we already know, the execution.
When people started to think that the girls were sick because of witchcraft thing took another turn. Abigail began to think that she could use witchcraft as a tool