Giles Corey is an elderly citizen of Salem. He is a sincere, well-intentioned, though occasionally cranky, old farmer. He is very blunt and straightforward in his thinking and opinions. Corey is known to be on good terms with John Proctor and Francis Nurse. He is famous for his tendency to file lawsuits. His wife Martha Corey is accused of witchcraft, and he himself is accused and accounted for witchcraft and is later on pressed to death with large stones. Elizabeth Proctor is the wife of John Proctor. She discovered an affair going on between her husband and Abigail Williams and turned Abigail out of her house.
Elizabeth is Abigail’s number one target but is saved from hanging because of her pregnancy. She believed that she was the reason that her husband John was driven to infidelity. Elizabeth is usually extremely honest and pure, but when she is being mistreated, she can be cold. Reverend Parris is recently the assigned minister in Salem, Massachusetts. He is also the father of Betty Parris. He is also the uncle of Abigail Williams. His belief in witches and his desire to punish his enemies set in motion the chain of events that leads to the hysteria in Salem.
During the witch trials, he pressures Danforth, the chief judge, to punish those who, in his opinion, are possessed or in partnership with the Devil. Parris refuses to tolerate conflict, and his very suspicious about those individuals that he does not like. He is an individual who is confident about his own opinions; he does feel like he is being persecuted and that the townspeople do not respect his position as a man of God. Mary Warren is the young maidservant of the Proctors. She is known as honest and well-intentioned toward the Proctors, when faced with the prospect of suffering, her sense of defense overrides her natural goodness.
She is a timid girl, and is easily influenced by those individuals around her. She is very much afraid of Abigail Williams and also does not want to be cut off from the other young girls. She is taken to court by John Proctor to confess that the girls are only pretending. She is not strong enough to fight Abigail and as soon as Abigail leads the other girls against her, Mary caves and runs back to her side by accusing Proctor himself. Abigail Williams is the orphaned niece of Reverend Parris. She is an intelligent, resourceful, and a highly mischievous girl of only seventeen years old.
Abigail is the natural leader of the other girls in Salem. She instigates the witch trials by falsely accusing others of witchcraft. She pretends to see spirits and instructs the other girls to pretend as well. Abigail is also infatuated with John Proctor and she’s devoted to take his wife Elizabeth’s place. She is extremely jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and uses her power in the town to rid herself from Elizabeth as well as any others who have insulted her in the past. John Proctor is a young, upright, outspoken, successful farmer in Salem.
He loves and respects his wife and is sorry for the act of adultery he has committed with Abigail Williams, his former servant. He resents the greediness and moral attitude of Reverend Parris and, therefore, invites his irritation and suspicion. John hates hypocrisy. 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 would be ruined. Abigail uses her influence to convict his wife; he tries to tell the truth and finds himself convicted of witchcraft himself.
Reverend John Hale is a minister from a nearby town of Beverly who is called by Reverend Parris to investigate his suspicions of witchcraft in Salem. As he becomes aware of Abigail’s, Parris’, and Hawthorne’s hidden agendas, he begins to question the powers of the trials, in which he acts like a judge. Hale tries to convince Danforth of the truth, but lacks the courage and confidence to openly oppose him. His critical mind and intelligence save him from falling into blind love. When he arrives the hysteria begins and although he later regrets his actions, he later then attempts to save the lives of those accused.