At one point, Abigail becomes angered when John will no longer take her back in place of Elizabeth, and Abigail says, "She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold sniveling woman, and you bend to her" (M... ... middle of paper ... ... have vengeance by means of Salem's court. Vengeance dictated the actions of many characters in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, just as Salem's court system became utilized as a means of retaliation for those characters. During the period of the witch trials, it became an opportunistic time for residents of Salem to have revenge on those who they abhor.
She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her!” This is the remark Abigail makes to John Proctor about Elizabeth and what she is doing to her reputation. The main reason behind Abigail accusing so many people is so that eventually the blame is put on Elizabeth. Abigail’s hopes are to have Elizabeth killed so her and John can go on living their lives together. Not only does she want to live her life with John Proctor, but Abigail is also angered at Elizabeth because of the reputation she has given her throughout the village.
She and John Proctor have had an affair and when Elizabeth Proctor finds out, she throws Abigail out of their house. During the trials, Abigail is still in love with John Proctor and goes after Elizabeth out of vengeance. Elizabeth tries to explain this to John, who is in disbelief: she ?thinks to kill me, then to take my place? (61). Abigail?s main motive for destroying Elizabeth is revenge for being thrown out of the house and for having John Proctor, the man that she loves.
Through John Proctor we see the ludicrous nature of mass hysteria that exists when society has gone awry. It is apparent that Miller focuses his play around the moral struggles of the protagonist, John Proctor. Throughout the play, Proctor has many struggles that he must deal with and look deep into his soul to find the resolution. He undergoes a major survey of his character and it is only this way that he can gain redemption for his sins. By abiding by his own moral code, John Proctor makes many hard decisions that will affect the outcome of the play.
Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997.
Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997.