The Puritans of Salem, Massachusetts in the late seventeenth century believed lies to be deadly sin. They were of the opinion that the smallest false-telling could turn a person from a path to Heaven to one straight into the arms of the Devil. However, during the Salem Witch Trials in the spring and summer of 1692; lies, deceit, and false accusations became common currency. The character of Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller’s 1952 play, The Crucible, illustrates this type of behavior. Abigail Williams’s lust for John Proctor and her desire for attention motivate her to falsely accuse innocent women of witchcraft, resulting in the regret and desperation she feels in regard to the choices she made, and subsequently her decision to run away from Salem to escape the pain she has caused for herself and for others. Abigail Williams in motivated by her irresponsible and inappropriate lust for the revered and respected John Proctor, as well as her desire for attention in a town where she receives little notice. John Proctor, a major figure in Salem admired for his honesty and integrity, is married to Elizabeth Proctor; despite this, Abigail pines after him, chasing feelings that John does not share. Though the two had had an affair earlier on, John strives to stay true to his wife and forget his fondness for the teenage Abigail Williams. Abigail chooses to cling to John Proctor’s previous feelings for her and wishes to share a life with him, one where Elizabeth does not exist. When she finds time alone with him, Abigail begs John to remember his feelings of affection and desire towards her and attempts to convince him of his love for her (Miller 22-25). She expresses her aspirations to become his wife once Elizabeth has left t... ... middle of paper ... ...eep-seated motivations and the unwise actions she took as a result of these impetuses. Because of Abigail Williams’s unequivocal craving to have the eyes of the town turned towards her, as well as her irrational feelings towards the inaccessible John Proctor, she chooses a course of action with serious implications not just for herself, but for the whole town of Salem. These choices lead her to become a changed character by the end of the play, and are the reason she abandoned her heartache and pain and escapes the place where her difficulties had begun. Breaking sacred religious laws in Salem had had consequences Abigail Williams could never imagine. Perhaps this is why Puritans considered lying a deadly sin – it truly could be deadly, and not just for the liar. Works Cited Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. N.p.: Viking Penguin, Penguin Groups USA, 1953. Print.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Sometimes, things are not what they seem. In the story The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a character named Abigail Williams does not fit the description of a typical, Puritan girl. Puritans are dedicated to their religion and the young girls are meant to be well-behaved and proper. Yet Abigail is found breaking some of the Ten Commandments. What drives her to do such evil things? She partakes in forbidden rituals, commits adultery, and lies under the oath of God, but Abigail is not at fault. Any young girl in Salem during the witch trials would have done the same, as a whole crowd of other girls did. She is used for sex by a man named John Proctor. She lies to receive the human necessity of respect, security, and belonging. She behaves the way a young girl would act. Abigail is portrayed as a dishonest, corrupt, and vicious girl, but in reality, she is the victim of the Salem Witch Trials for she is only following her natural impulses, is blinded by her love, and carries out the mess the adults have created only to try to protect herself.
It is clear that Abigail Williams is portrayed as the antagonist in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, taking place in the late 1600s in Salem, Massachusetts and based on the witch-trials therein. She serves as a catalyst for the witch trials by falsely accusing innocent townspeople with the intent of maintaining the position of power she gains from them. Due to the transparency of her actions, Abigail’s ulterior motives are also distinguishable. Certain effeminate stereotypes are presented throughout the course of the play. One of which, being that of the immoral, husbandless woman, Abigail embodies. Slave to emotion and motivated by lust, Abigail falls
The play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, took place in Salem, Massachusetts during 1692. The people of Salem were known as Puritans, which were people who followed God, the commandments, and were required to read the Bible in their spare time. Elizabeth Proctor was known as a “good” Puritan woman, while Abigail Williams was known as what a Puritan should not be. Elizabeth and Abigail were known in the Salem community for their attitude, personality, and their actions.
Abigail Williams achieves power through her affair with John Proctor and her strong leadership role with her friends, and through her self seeking manner, she lets it corrupt her. In the beginning of the play, the author reveals that Abigail has involved herself with a married man. Although John breaks off the affair, Abigail now has a certain power over him because she reminds him of his unfaithful past. Abigail decides to use her power selfishly to avoid conviction and attempt to have John’s wife, Elizabeth convicted so she can be with John. Her first major use of power is when she threatens the girls who are suspected of witchcraft that if they do not lie she “will come to you in the black of some terrible night and … bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (20). She continues with the threats saying ,“I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” (20). The harsh diction shows how serious Abigail is about the girls sticking to the story. She uses the fear factor to make sure the girls will comply and also shows the girls who’s in charge. The overwhelming amount of threats that Abigail uses show that she really needs to get her point across and make the girls have an incentive for lying. Once Abigail gains
Abigail Williams may seem like a nice young woman but looks can be very deceiving. Although she comes from the household of the Reverend of the town, she is a heartless and a horrible person that will do anything to get the man that she wants.” You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (Miller,1137). Abigail obviously cares about nobody, only John Proctor.
Throughout the story, Abigail Williams is a self-centered, mean, and deceiving person who will always get her way. Many people went through pain and suffering because of the lies she put on everyone's name. She cared about no one except one man, John Proctor. John and his wife
Abigail Williams is motivated to lie about her affair with John Proctor. What motivates her to lie is the thought of getting hung. Another big reason that she could be lying is for vengeance. Abigail loves John Proctor and one night they had an affair and touched. Since then, Abigail has been jealous towards John’s wife, Elizabeth. Abigail goes into the forest with some other young girls and Tituba, who makes a potion to have boys fall in love with them. This is a great example, “ABIGAIL, pulling her away from the window: I told him everything; he knows now, he knows everything we—BETTY: You drank blood, Abby! You didn't tell him that! ABIGAIL: Betty, you never say that
Abigail Williams is least complex among the characters, but is the most insensitive character in the book. Abigail is a naïve young women who lies, and manipulates her peers to gain the power she lacks in society. Abigail is motivated by revenge, love, and power. Abigail and John Proctor had a meaningless affair in the past, but it was only “meaningless” to John. Abigail is intertwined in what she believes to be the truth: John is in love with her, and they are going to be, and are meant to be together. In Act One Abigail and John Proctor are having an argument on their “Love” for one another. Abigail says, “I have a sense for heat John, and yours has drawn me to my window, I’ve seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you’ve
“I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!”In the Crucible Abigail Williams is portrayed as a villain for the way she accused
Abigail Williams is a young manipulative woman who has a deep desire for John Proctor, but her actions affect everyone else for her own selfish deeds. After being fired, by Elizabeth Proctor, Abby’s love for John grew ever stronger from their affair. Love is a mere aspect that describes Abby, but manipulative, selfishness, and audacious are only a few words which describe her. Abby may be a selfish, cunning young lady, but what she truly stands for in the play is manipulation. She has made false accusations which she brought before the court to cover up what has happened during that night. Abby also fakes that Mary is using a spirit to attack her during a proceeding because she feels threatened by Mary’s testimony, which potentially could blow
Abigail was seen as a purge the Puritan, always helping out the church, and to the court ,but she was far from perfect. This is a story best summarized by the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Early in the story the Abigail Williams, the antagonist, in the story, has an affair with John Proctor, the protagonist. After a John and Abigail have an affair John denies all accusations of it happening which sends Abigail into a rage and forces her to do unspeakable things for their time and place. Abigail later lies about people of performing witchcraft like deeds which sends them to trial and some sent to death. Arthur Miller uses Abigail an example of a Puritan who does not meet the standards of the Puritan religion.
Abigail Williams is a selfish, psychotic, and a pathological liar. A great deal can be said about Abigail. One thing is for certain throughout the course of the story, she took this a little too far. In the beginning, the woods. It was nothing more than a little ritual, she “cursed” Elizabeth Proctor so that she could have John to herself. This is where it all started. In order to protect herself, she came up with a convincing story and told the other girls not to rat her out, or each other. One thing lead to another and soon the circumstances had started to change she needed a better story and people were starting to get hurt. Even with all of these events taking place she still went to John. He pushed her away.
Abigail Williams, young and beautiful, swoops into the text with her lies from the very first Act. Only 12 pages into the script we see her lie to her uncle by saying “ She [ Elizabeth Proctor] hates me, uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman.” (Miller 12). Abigail’s hate and envy of Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of her ex-lover, brings her to spread lies about her. Abigail loves John Proctor and will do anything to make him love her in return. Consumed by her lust and horrified about her reputation about the town, Abigail throws herself into the pit of deception. After a while, it is evident that she has gone past the point of no return. “ You see sir, she told me that she would stay a night with Mercy Lewis...” (Miller 126). This is takes place in the last act when Reverend Parris is speaking to Judge Danforth. Parris is explaining that Abigail has just run off and stolen all his life savings. Without
First, in her attempt to save herself from embarrassment, Abigail starts the awful witch-hunt by lying about what she was doing in the forest around evening time with other girls. In conversation Mary Warren pleads with Abigail to “tell the truth…you will only get whipped for dancin”(Miller 39). Abigail will stop at nothing to keep her reputation and she even threatened the girls to keep their mouths shut .Later, Abigail continuously demonstrates that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants and one of her real desire is John Proctor. With her newfound power, Abigail takes the chance and names Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor, as a witch. Elizabeth is stunned upon discovering she was named in the court. She knew that Abigail would “Dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it.”(Miller 104). Finally, Abigail demonstrates her selfishness by exploiting the power the community has given to her. She names a few individuals just in light of the fact that she disdains them or on the grounds that they are a risk to her. Abigail emphatically shows her quality of self-centeredness all through the story and uncovers that she will do anything as long as it is in her best