Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' is a mid-20th century play telling the story of the famous Salem witch trials. The play begins with girls doing mysterious and devilish things in the woods, and amongst them: Abigail Williams, the outcast orphan niece of Reverend Parris, whom is equally disliked by the villager. She is a 17 year old girl whom has made many poor and alarming choices; she's had an affair with a married man, John Proctor, and now, has participated in the unspeakable act of witchcraft for nothing more than to seek her revenge on his wife, Elizabeth. Her character is rather simple, she is the villain; her ability to deceive, manipulate, lie, and control people drives the town to taking the lives of nineteen innocent people, and imprisoning many more. Although, why would a young lady like herself feel compelled to act so deviously in the first place? It is because of her horrendous past; watching her parents murdered in bed, being the outcast in her uncle's family, as well as the towns they lived in, she possesses a rung on the social ladder barely higher than that of Tituba, the Barbados slave. It is her cold upbringing, and poor choices that drives her to affect not only her life, but the lives of countless others tremendously.
Abigail's downfall in Salem began during her younger years when she endured the unthinkable: watching her parents heads being dashed in on their pillows by Native Americans. It was the gruesome reality of orphanage that hardened her into a cruel, unforgiving young woman; this is exemplified in Act One when she mercilessly threatens to kill anyone of the girls if they open their mouths about the witchcraft she devised the night before. Also, another challenge she faces in the small puritan commu...

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...er than face her sins.
As the curtains close on Miller's play, Abigail Williams has took the role of an evil villain to the ultimate level; she has torn away the morality of a puritan village, she has destroyed the life of her lover, her uncle's reputation, the girls' innocence, and all without even flinching. How could such a seemingly innocent girl be so cruel? By the end of the play, the villagers hold a loathing and malice towards her as well as the audience. Miller shows with her character that even the “innocent” will go to great lengths to sate their greed and desire. With the gruesome death of her parents, her love for an older man, and the choice to condemn the families of Salem is what makes her a driving and devastating force in 'The Crucible.' Although, we are left to wonder, are there witches among us, or just ingenious phonies like Abigail Williams?

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