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Innocent Murderer: Abigail as a Victim in The Crucible

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How can a girl who condemned seventy two to a death sentence and drank a charm to kill a man’s wife, a man she has slept with on more than one occasion be the victim? It’s possible when the town she lives in is worse than her. Although Abigail Williams is typically thought of as the antagonist of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, she is in fact a victim as much as any other tragic character in the play.
The true antagonist of the play is the town of Salem itself, because of the judgemental and self concerned peoples, and its oppressive views. Abigail;s outrageous actions are due to her desensitized views on death and actions otherwise viewed as unethical. From her youth ABigail recalls: “ I saw indians smash my dear parents’ head on the pillow next to mine and i have seen some reddish work at night” (Miller 20), because of this Abigail is numb to death and suffering and is in fact quite morbid. There is no problem in condemning other to death in Abigail’s eyes because she doesn’t see the issue with it. Abigail does not seem to comprehend that it is unethical to let people be hanged and stoned to death and has no issue telling others that she “ can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down” (Miller 20). Not only is Abigail desensitized to murder and death, she is also numb to other unethical dilemmas. Abigail is desensitized to corrupting the Proctor’s marriage because of her childish lust and obsession for John Proctor. Such desires can be seen through her encounters with Proctor. In regards to their so called “relationship” she says: “it’s she put me out, you cannot pretend it were you. I saw your face when she put me out, and you loved me then and you love me now!” (Miller 22). Abigail does not view her behavior t...

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...without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it” (Miller 99). What made a minister of the Lord do such a thing? The oppressive views of the townspeople of Salem. Being in the town of Salem, surrounded by people judging and others and condemning them for crimes, forced Reverend Hale to do things he wasn’t comfortable with. So, what would stop the town of Salem from doing the same thing to Abigail Williams, who is still a child with an easily impressionable mind?
In conclusion I ask this again: how can a girl who condemned seventy two to a death sentence and drank a charm to kill a man’s wife, a man she slept with on more than one occasion, be the victim? Abigail is truly a victim just as much as one of those she condemned to death, because of Salem’s judgemental, self-concerned and oppressive views and beliefs led her to it.
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