Rebecca Nurse

Main motivation
Fights for her freedom as well as the innocent convicted people in the community
Main conflict
She has been convicted of being a witch but
Rebecca will not confess in order to protect her dignity and reputation.
There is some tension between her and the Putnams. Ruth Putnam blames Rebecca for the death of her baby. None of her babies have survived whilst Rebecca has many children.
Jealousy and revenge are the motives.
Highly respected in the community, very truthful, kind and humble; good natured.
Effect on plot
She refuses to accuse anybody and remains totally “good” to her death
“Why, it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself” I cannot, I cannot”
Role in the conflicts
She is accused of being a witch by the Putnams. Her humble and honourable name in the community is a threat and she has healthy children.
Rebecca Nurse
  • Greatly respected by the community; has a commonsense goodness. However this does not save her. Why?
  • Mother of 11 and grandmother to 26
  • A voice of reason; seeks to quell the hysteria of witchcraft and be a peacemaker. Searches for a practical solution to Betty’s state
    • All conflict resolutions need these type of people
    • Has Proctor’s respect
    • A love and understanding of children; her mere presence calms Betty Parris; something her father could not do
    • Victim of her accusers – the Putnams – of long held jealousies; charged with the murder of Ann Putnam’s babies; she is the Devil’s temptress.
      • Has encountered conflict through motives of vengeance, jealousy
      • Demonstrates strength and courage at her hanging