In Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible," Sarah Good's accusers contended the evidence she was a witch was that she could not recite the Ten Commandments. Good, a real historical figure, was executed in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Her daughter Dorcas, a 5-year-old child, was also among the accused.Continue Reading
Early in 1692, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris accused Good of causing their convulsions through supernatural means. Shortly thereafter, several Salem Village men filed a warrant against Good. During an examination, Good maintained her innocence. The girls who accused her, who were present during the examination, exhibited convulsions at the sight of her.
One of the girls accused Good's spirit of stabbing her with a knife. She offered a broken knife as evidence. However, a man who was among those watching the examination said the knife was his and that he had thrown it away recently.
Good was placed in jail, where she underwent additional questioning. Soon after, local men arrested Good's daughter based on accusations that she bit two local women. The girl's "confession" further implicated that Good was a witch.
Complicating Good's case, another woman also accused of being a witch confessed and implicated Good as well. Good was hanged in Salem roughly five months after her initial arrest. Just prior to her execution, a Salem minister urged her to confess. However, Good responded by saying she was no more a witch than the minister was a wizard.Learn more about Literature