The Crucible Character Breakdown

The Crucible

John Proctor

A farmer, John Proctor is the voice of reason and justice in The Crucible. He exposes the girls claims of witchcraft as fraudulent, thus becoming the tragic hero of the play.  A sharply intelligent man who can easily detect foolishness in others, he questions his own moral sense. Male 38 to 45 years old.

Elizabeth Proctor

John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth shares with her husband a strong respect for justice, having great confidence in her own morality. Sometimes distant and demanding, her continual suspicions of her husband render their marriage tense. Female 28 to 35 years old.

Abigail Williams

Formerly the Proctors’ servant – before Elizabeth fired her for having an affair with John.  Malicious, vengeful girl who, in an attempt to protect herself, instigates the Salem trials and leads the charges of witchcraft. Despite her accusations, an unabashed liar who charges witchcraft against all who oppose her; her behaviour is due in part to past trauma. Female 18 to 24 to play 17.

Deputy Governor Danforth

A practical man, he approaches the witchcraft trials with a strict adherence to his legal dictate that an accusation of witchery automatically entails a conviction. Sees himself as the law incarnate. Male 50 years plus.

Reverend Samuel Parris

Parris instigates the witchcraft panic when he finds his daughter and niece dancing in the woods with several other girls. Parris is continually beset with fears that others conspire against him. Knows the truth that Abigail is lying about the the witchcraft, but perpetuates the deception because it is in his own self -interest. Male 30 to 45 years old.

Reverend John Hale

A scholar, Hale approaches the accusations precisely and intellectually, believing that he can define the supernatural in definitive terms. Despite his early enthusiasm for discerning the presence of the supernatural, soon grows disillusioned and defends Proctor when he challenges Abigail – does so out of guilt, fearing he’s responsible for the execution of innocent persons. Male or Female Late 20’s to 40’s.

Giles Corey

An irascible and combative old resident of Salem, Corey is a frequent plaintiff in court, having brought dozens of lawsuits, and he stands with Proctor in challenging the girls’ accusations. Male or Female 50 plus.

Mary Warren

Servant in the Proctor household, Mary is one of the girls found dancing in the woods and is complicit in Abigail Williams’ schemes. Although weak and tentative, she challenges the Proctors when they forbid her to go to court. Eventually breaks down and testifies against Abigail until Abigail charges her with witchery.  A pliable girl whose actions are easily determined by others. Female 15 to 18 years old.

Tituba

Parris’ slave from Barbados. The first person accused of witchcraft – and likewise the first person to accuse others of witchery. Female 18 to 40 years old

Thomas Putnam

One of the wealthiest landowners in Salem, holds longstanding grudges against many other citizens. Prepared to back accusations – particularly if they can work in his favour. Male 30 to 55 years old.

Rebecca Nurse

Noble and well-respected citizens of Salem, Rebecca Nurse is the clear martyr in the play, the most pure and saintly character hanged for witchery. Female 50 plus.

Judge Hathorne

Judge who presides over the Salem witch trials, he remains largely subservient to Deputy Governor Danforth. Applies the same tortured reasoning to charges of witchcraft, but still occasionally attempts to talk sense to Danforth. Male 35 plus.

Francis Nurse

Husband of Rebecca Nurse, and a well-respected wealthy landowner in Salem. Francis Nurse joins Giles Corey and John Proctor in their challenge against the court when their respective wives are charged with witchcraft. Male 50 plus.

Betty Parris

Young teenager daughter of Reverend Parris, goes into hysterics when the charges of witchcraft first form, holding delusions that she can fly and exclaiming with horror when she hears the name of Jesus. Female 14 to 18 years old.

Sarah Good

One of the first women charged with witchery by the girls, she is a homeless woman who confesses to witchcraft to save herself and continues the charade with Tituba, claiming that Satan will take her and Tituba to Barbados. Female Open age.

Ezekiel Cheever

Ezekiel is a clerk of the court who serves the arrest warrants to the persons charged with witchcraft. Male or Female 18 – 28.

Mrs. Ann Putnam

The wife of Thomas Putnam, Ann suspects that there is some paranormal reason for the stillborn deaths of seven of her children and blames Rebecca Nurse. 30 – 55

Mercy Lewis

The Putnam’s servant – eighteen year – old girl whom Parris found naked when he spied the girls dancing in the woods. Only too happy to throw others under the proverbial bus to save her own skin. She runs away with Abigail at the end of the play. Female 18 to 24 years old.

Susanna Walcott

Susanna is one of the girls whom Parris found dancing in the woods, and a confidant of Abigail. 15 to 18 years old.

Marshal Herrick

Marshal is one of the local constables who guards the jail cells while nearly drunk. Male or Female 18 to 30 years old.

Hopkins

Hopkins is one of the guards at the jail cell. Male or Female18 to 30 years old.