The Crucible is a play about witchcraft and mass hysteria in the town of Salem in Massachusetts. The Crucible is set in the 17th century when Puritanism was very strong. People believed in God and followed strict religious. During Act 1 of The Crucible a group of young girls where dancing in the woods around a fire. The girls thought that Reverend Parris was thinking that they were practising witchcraft. Witchcraft in the 17th century was a very serious crime and people were hung if they were accused of being a witch. To avoid punishment after being accused of witchcraft the girls named other people in Salem, some of these who they did not like. Abigail Williams had previously had an affair with John Proctor, she shouted out John Proctor's wife Elizabeth's name. By accusing Elizabeth of being a witch she would be out of the way for Abigail, because Abigail still loves John and wants him back. .
We see that Abigail wants John's wife Elizabeth dead in Act 2 pages 50 - 55, where Elizabeth says to John, "she wants me dead, John, you know it!" This shows that Abigail has accused Elizabeth of being a witch because Abigail wants Elizabeth dead, so that she can be with John. This is a very tense conversation between Elizabeth and John, as Elizabeth is trying to identify John's relationship with Abigail. John knows that Elizabeth is anxious about John and Abigail's affair because he says to Abigail "a stallion gave a mare," meaning that John didn't feel and love for Abigail, their affair was just for lust. During the end of that scene Elizabeth is trying to show her fear of John and Abigail getting back together. She shows her fear by saying, "Then go tell her she's a whore. Whatever promise she may sense - break it, John, break it." She says this to John as she wants him to go to Abigail and tell her that John does not love her. Maybe if John did this then it would make Elizabeth feel a bit better and have no worries about them getting back together.