Betty Parris

Play vs. Reality


The play The Crucible did an amazing job dipicting the withcraft hysteria that broke out in Salem, Massachusetts in 1690's. Arthur Miller was able to fill the play with many true facts but after reading this presentation, people will come to realize that there was actually many differances. Betty Parris was the first afflicted girl that was showing signs of witchcraft, which started this whole outburst of witch craft.

"Although some sources indicate that it was Tituba who taught the girls these fortune-telling techniques, there is no mention of this in the court records and no evidence that she was involved,"

In The Crucible Betty Parris and many other girls were said to have been bewtiched due to the practices they performed with Tituba but in the real life hysteria Tituba was not invloved. Sources say that Abigial and Betty and some other girls experimented with a fortune telling ritual where you drop an egg into a glass and a symbol about their beloved would appear. That is when shortly after the two girls begain to experiance several behvioral issues.

"Shortly after the incident, Betty began behaving strangely in January of 1692, when she hid under furniture, complained of a fever, barked like dog, screamed and cried out in pain,"

After being "bewitched" in The Crucible Betty fell into a slumber, while in real life she had those strange outbursts. Also not only did Betty have them Abigail showed the same signs. In both the play and reality the doctors had no explaination other than the super natural, leading to the outbreak. While today modern theories suggest that the girls may have been bored, mentally ill, child abuse, epilepsy or even disease.

"At the end of March, Betty was sent to live with Rev. Samuel Parris' distant cousin, Stephen Sewall, in Salem. This technique of isolation stopped most of her symptoms, but she still had visions after leaving the Parris household,"

After a long time of being at her cousins house did they symptoms finally subside. She was never really apart of the trials besides the few times where the girls sat on the sides. But after being freed from her symptoms did she marry Benjamin Baron, a yeoman, trader, cordwainer, and shoemaker and they also had 4 children. Finally later in life she passed away from illness on March 21, 1760.

Work Cited:

Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. Betty Parris: First Afflicted Girl of the Salem Witch Trials. History of Massachusetts, 2013. Web. 20 Dec. 2013 .

Walsh, Sarah Nell. Elizabeth Parris. Benjamin Ray and The University of Virginia, 2002. Web.

20 Dec. 2013.