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Reverend Parris is Salem's local reverend, and his daughter Betty's illness at the start of the play is one of the events that sets off the witch trials.
He is supposedly learned and educated on the phenomenon.
Though he is initially a supporter of the trials—possessing a passionate belief that witchcraft is a very real threat—he slowly becomes skeptical of the girls' accusations and the way in which the trials are proceeding.
John Proctor, a farmer, is the protagonist of the story.
He is a well-respected man in Salem, but it is revealed that he conducted an illicit affair with the young Abigail Williams prior to the events of the play.
This crucial mistake comes back to haunt him when his wife, Elizabeth, is named a witch by the girls (who are led by Abigail).
John is aware—from conversations with both Abigail and his servant Mary Warren—that the girls have fabricated their accusations.Though he despises the trials, he is initially reluctant to challenge the girls for fear of having his indiscretion with Abigail exposed and losing his good name.After Elizabeth is arrested, however, he confronts the court with evidence—including depositions and a signed petition vouching for the character of one of the accused witches.Shortly after being imprisoned, Elizabeth announces that she is pregnant, and her trial (and potential execution) is temporarily stayed.Elizabeth possesses a strong sense of honor and morality, and though she wants her husband, John to live, she ultimately respects his decision to die rather than lie and be freed.Ultimately, he redeems his good name and his soul by refusing to surrender his integrity.Abigail Williams is the young woman with whom John Proctor had an affair while she was a servant in his household.A theme is a central topic that is addressed by a work of literature. In the case of a play like , themes are revealed mainly through the dialogue of the characters. , you should have extensive knowledge of its themes.If you can show that you understand the themes of a work of literature, you've clearly mastered the material on a deeper level.Indeed, Parris is shown to be deeply concerned for his reputation and power, which is he fears is being challenged by some in the town.In an attempt to maintain his authority, Parris becomes a staunch advocate for the trials, eventually losing all grip on reality and logic.