REV. PARRIS -- A failed merchant from the West Indies, Parris was
appointed by a narrow margin to be the third minister of Salem. He
demands a high salary, firewood, and golden candlesticks...and
becomes outraged at the lack of respect shown him by local farmers,
who he is quite willing to see in prison.
BETTY PARRIS -- Young daughter of the Rev. Parris, who falls ill
after witnessing Abigail's strange rites in the forest.
TITUBA -- Slave to Rev. Parris, a woman from Barbados whose
well-meaning attempts to entertain the Parris children with voodoo
rituals earn her the first accusation of witchcraft; she soon passes
the buck on to other innocents.
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS -- Niece of Rev. Parris and former servant of John
and Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail had an affair with John Proctor and
was kicked out of his home by his wife. Caught drinking a charm to
kill Elizabeth, she begins the witch hunt by claiming that Tituba
used witchcraft to corrupt her. She becomes so obsessed with "getting
her man" that she names Elizabeth as a witch and then John as well
when he shows up to set the record straight.
SUZANNA WALCOTT and MERCY LEWIS -- girls involved in Tituba's
nighttime rituals who follow Abigail's lead and begin to accuse local
women of witchcraft. Mercy is a servant of Ann and Thomas Putnam.
ANN and THOMAS PUTNAM -- Influential citizens of Salem who call for
an investigation of witchcraft after their daughter becomes strangely
ill. Ann's bitterness for losing seven children in childbirth and
Thomas's lust for land prompt them to suggest several names for the
children to confirm as witches.
JOHN PROCTOR -- Well-meaning but all-too-human farmer who had an
affair with Abigail while she was a servant girl at his home. Despite
his weakness for Abigail, John has a strong allegiance to his wife
and to his God. He has a few enemies in the town due to his
willingness to speak out against Parris' extravagances and Putnam's
ELIZABETH PROCTOR -- Wife of John, who is still struggling to forgive
him for his infidelity. She makes no pretense about her dislike for
Abigail, and soon falls victim to the girl's machinations.
MARY WARREN -- Servant to the Proctors who gets drawn in to Abigail's
web of deceit. When Elizabeth Proctor is accused, Mary tries to come
clean with the court but fails to overcome the canny Abigail.
REBECCA NURSE -- An old matriarch of Salem, a kind woman known far
and wide for her charity, who is called a witch by Ann Putnam, who
envies Rebecca's success in child-rearing.
FRANCIS NURSE -- Husband of Rebecca; circulates a petition to free
Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Martha...only to be accused of undermining
GILES COREY -- Old and crotchety individual experienced in litigation
to protect his land and to avenge himself for numerous slanders.
Giles suffers perhaps the worst fate of the Salem hysteria when he is
pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea so that he would not
lose his lands.
MARTHA COREY -- Wife of Giles, accused of witchcraft along with
Rebecca and Elizabeth
REV. JOHN HALE -- Minister of Beverly and local expert on the occult;
Hale is brought in to consult with Parris on his daughter's illness
and soon becomes an official of the court in charge of identifying
witches. As the trials begin to consume people he feels are innocent,
Hale turns against the court and tries to save as many as he can.
EZEKIEL CHEEVER and MARSHALL HERRICK -- Town officials who bring in
the accused witches and attempt to maintain order in the court and
jails. Cheever tries to curry favor with the authorities, while
Herrick goes about his duties more reluctantly.
JUDGE HATHORNE -- Appointed judge who presides over the Salem trials.
Unbending and unwilling to admit any error, Hathorne shouts down any
opposition, refuses to admit evidence to counter the witchcraft
convictions, and insists on carrying out the hangings.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR DANFORTH -- The King's representative in Salem. Less
rigid than Hathorne, Danforth almost relents on a few occasions, but
he believes so strongly in the testimony of the girls that he lets
Hathorne and Parris sway him back to irrationality. He wields the
authority of his position brutally and refuses to believe that the
court has made any error.
SARAH GOOD -- Local homeless woman who sleeps in ditches and begs for
food and cider. One of the first to be accused of witchcraft, she
"confesses" to save her life and that of her unborn child.