Crucible Character Analysis Abigail Williams Essay

The Crucible Character Analysis: Abigail Williams

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The Ultimate Schemer One of the main characters of the play The Crucible, Abigail Williams, is the most spiteful and least complex character throughout the entire play. She is the villain of the play, even more than Parris or Danforth. She is on the lower end of the social hierarchy; the only people below her were slaves like Tituba. Abigail Williams possess wicked character traits that give her a negative perception. She is a jezebel figure who lacks feelings, an immoral character who lacks ethics and a manipulative person who lacks a conscience.

Abigail’s counterpart is a jezebel figure. A jezebel figure is commonly associated with a woman who is regarded as evil and scheming. Abigail’s evil can be seen through her interactions with the other women of the play. For example, she threatens Betty and Mary Warren by saying, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word about the other things and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and i will a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (The Crucible, Act 1).

In addition she is scheming because she crafts a plot that send 19 innocent people to their deaths. Her evil and scheming ways undermines the future of the other characters and is only for her selfish gain. Abigail posses an immoral persona and many of her actions are unethical. She wants one thing and one thing only, John Proctor, a married man. She participates in infidelity and constructs a web of lies. She knows that it is a sin to have sex with a married man but continues to proclaim her love for him, “I will not, i cannot!

You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is you love me yet! ” (The Crucible, Act 1). In connection with the infidelity she lies on Elizabeth, Proctor’s wife, and says her spirit stabbed her when in reality she stabbed herself. Similar to her lack of emotions it proves how immoral, unethical, and selfish she really is. Abigail shows a lack of remorse and a conscience because instead of confessing she continues to lie. Moreover she convinces the other girls to lie along with her. She uses her cunning speech and threats to influence the others.

For example in the woods she says, “I want to open myself… I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss his hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! ” (The Crucible, Act 2). She said this to leave an impression on the others. The others follow her because they are intimidated by her. Abigail never shows any remorse about negatively influencing the others.

Abigail’s callous nature stems partially from past trauma; she is an orphan who watched her parents get murdered by Indians. This is still no excuse for her iniquitous actions. Unethical, immoral, and manipulative are perfect adjectives to describe Abigail’s character and in the end she gains nothing. She does not have John Proctor because he is executed and 19 innocent people have died. There are other characters in the play that can be considered villains but she is by far the most evil. She is the ultimate schemer.

Author: Eva Dockery

in The Crucible

The Crucible Character Analysis: Abigail Williams

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In the play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams is a very manipulative, seductive, and dishonest person. She is constantly caught up in a lie or is in the presence of trying to manipulate a person or a group of people. This vicious antagonist will stop at nothing to attain her demented goals. Although, in the end, Abigail’s persuasive lies do not get her what she really wants, her actions throughout the play influence many events and make her the most compelling character of The Crucible. Throughout the play, Abigail speaks using deceitful language in her constant quest for power. The audience’s first introduction to her true nature is in Act I when she says “…Let either of you breathe a word and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you…”

This quote shows Abigail’s desperation and truly violent mind while she tries to control the mistake she has made, but to control this mistake she must control those around her who know of it. Abigail feeds on the fact that no one would dare to expose her if they feared her so terribly. Abigail’s desire for power and her willingness to deceive anyone to get what she wants also foreshadow her actions. Abigail lies in Act I when Reverend Parris confronts her after finding her and other girls dancing in the woods and practicing witchcraft with Tituba. In the town of Salem, Abigail’s reputation is already somewhat flawed. But when Parris asks her “Your name in the town – it is entirely white, is it not,” Abigail answers “I am sure it is, sir. There be no blush about my name.” Abigail’s response was clearly another lie because she was fired as the Proctor’s servant after Elizabeth discovered her affair with John.

Abigail is a malicious, vengeful girl who, in an attempt to protect herself from punishment and to achieve her ultimate goal of replacing Elizabeth as John Proctor’s wife, instigates the Salem witch trials and leads the charge of accusations. Unlike the other characters, she is not very complex and is clearly the villain of the play. Her motivation is simple jealousy and her desire to be with John Proctor. Abigail’s cruel nature, however, is due partially from past trauma. She is an unmarried, orphan who watched as her parents were murdered by Indians. Therefore, she ranks low on the Puritan Salem social ladder, and the only people below her are the slaves and social outcasts. The witch trials, in which the girls are allowed to act as though they have a direct connection to God, empower the previously powerless Abigail.

Once shunned and scorned by the respectable townsfolk, Abigail now finds that she has authority, and she takes full advantage of it. Throughout the play many of the events, in some way or another, have to deal with Abigail or occur as a result of something that she did. She is the most memorable character of the play simply for that reason. Even when Abigail leaves town for the Barbados when her hopes of being with John Proctor are shattered, her previous actions still have tremendous effect on the lives of the accused. Although Abigail Williams is the cause of many problems, her influence in The Crucible is undeniable.

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