Arthur Miller portrays Abigail Williams in the play as beautiful and intelligent though selfish, self-absorbed, manipulative, vengeful, and a skillful liar. As Abigail gains her power in Salem through manipulation using threats and lies, she abuses her power to fulfill her selfish desire to get rid of Elizabeth to be with John Proctor, and escape from getting her lies uncovered. Abigail goes as far as getting innocent people killed to gain everything she wants. She wants to kill Elizabeth because she is John Proctor’s wife and she believes that Elizabeth is the reason she cannot have an affair with John. Betty reveals this fact to the audience when she yells the following at Abby, “You did, you did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Good Proctor.” (19). Betty clearly illustrates how far is Abigail is willing to go to get her desire to be John Proctor. She abuses her power even to the point of killing Elizabeth just to get own way. Abigail further ...
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... and they will ruin me with it.” (10). Parris knows that if people finds out that his family is involved in witchcraft activities he will easily lose his job. Parris’ thirst for power and wealth pushed him to lie in court despite being the minister of Salem.
Abigail Williams uses her acquired power to get revenge from Elizabeth who she believes stands in her way from being with John Proctor and also protect her lies and prevent herself from getting executed. Danforth abuses his authority and strong puritan belief as a deputy governor to show his decisions are always right and protect his reputation. In like manner, Reverend Parris uses his power as a minister in Salem for material gain and maintain his high reputation. The play, The Crucible, illustrates how abusing one’s powers over society for personal gain has its consequences that can could cause people’s lives.
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