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Vengeance is where a person “punishes” another due to a previous event, such a person killing the murderer of a friend or family member. Vengeance does not exactly mean revenge due to the fact revenge is more personal, more intimate than vengeance. Vengeance can be in many forms, from killing or injuring another because they had done the same thing to a person close to you, to ruining the person’s reputation in retaliation for something. The Crucible is an example of a piece of literature that describes many instances of vengeance.
The theme of vengeance is apparent in the Crucible, with Goody Good’s accusation of being a witch, Abigail Williams trying to kill Elizabeth Proctor, and Goody Nurse plus Goody Osburn being accused of being witches. In Act Two of the Crucible the accusation of Goody Good being a witch is known. Mary Warren did not accuse Goody Good but she is happy with the accusation, though Goody Good didn’t hang because she was pregnant with a child.
In lines 340-345 in Act 2, Mary Warren describes one of the things she claims Goody Good had done to her, “…she walked away, and I thought my guts would burst two days after.” Mary wanted vengeance against Goody Good because she believed that she had a spell placed on her. People like Goody Good got accused of being involved with the Devil because they had done something to another personally that made the other want vengeance. All throughout the story there is tension between Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor due to Abigail’s obsession over Elizabeth’s husband, John Proctor.
This obsession turned deadly may have gotten started because of Abigail’s affair with John before the Crucible started. In Act 1 from lines 588-611 Abigail and John have a conversation where it is made known that Abigail is against Elizabeth because apparently “She is blackening my name in the village… cold, sniveling woman…”
This is potentially why Abigail might seek vengeance against Elizabeth. In Act 1 lines 448-450, it is learned through Betty Parris that Abigail “…drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife!” This is proof that Abigail did in some sort of fashion used the act of vengeance against Elizabeth Proctor because she wanted John for herself. Though she did not get what she wanted in the end, Abigail Williams tried to rid herself of Elizabeth Proctor because she was married to John Proctor, the man that she had wanted from the beginning of the Crucible. Out of all the 19 accused people in the Crucible, Goody Nurse and Goody Osburn were both victim to the same act of vengeance by Goody Putnam.
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