The trials in The Crucible take place against the surroundings of a deeply religious and gullible society, and most of the characters in the play seem to believe that picking out witches from their community is God's work. However, there are plenty of feuds and rivalries in the small town that have nothing to do with religion, and many Salem residents take advantage of the trials to express long-held grudges and revenge on their enemies. Abigail Williams finds revenge on Elizabeth Proctor; Thomas Putnam gets a hold of revenge with both the Nurse's as well as George Jacobs and the Corey's. The Salem Witch Trials were with out a doubt, the perfect way for revenge.
Abigail gets revenge on the Proctors when her affair with John has finally come to an end. The whole reason chaos broke out through Salem is because of Abigail. One vengeful accusation from Abigail to her rival, Elizabeth Proctor, turns the whole village upside down. This confusion and madness is one of the main reasons so many lives were taken at the trials.
Abigail was upset that Elizabeth fired her and that she could no longer be with John. Elizabeth states, "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! Let her t urn you like a -" (Act I) This clearly shows how Abigail is trying to manipulate John into having feelings for her once again. She blames the pandemonium of the village on Elizabeth, when in all doing, it was because of Abigail from the start. Abigail is a shameless liar who charges witchcraft against those who oppose her, even Elizabeth Proctor in an attempt to take her place as Proctor's wife. Thomas Putnam gains revenge on Francis Nurse by getting Rebecca, Francis's honorable wife, convicted of the supernatural murders of Ann Putnam's babies. Francis Nurse states, "For murder, she's charged! For the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies.
What am I to do Mr. Hale?" (Act II) After reading The Crucible, one can easily determine that Rebecca Nurse is one of the most well respected and sane citizens in Salem. In the beginning of the play, Rebecca suggests, due to her parenting experience, that Betty's illness is merely the sign of childhood. She states, "I think she " ll wake in time.
Pray calm yourselves. I have eleven children, and I am twenty-six times a grandma, and I have seen them all through their silly seasons, and when it come to them they will run the devil bowlegged keeping up with their mischief. I think she " ll wake when she tires of it. A child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and for love, it will soon itself come back." (Act I).