Abigail Williams Character Essay

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play about the Salem Witch Trials in the year 1692. Arthur Miller himself was one of the many people put before the congressional committee during the red scare and hunt for communists in the 1950’s. From that experience he brought to light the direct parallels and relationships between these two events in history. One of the characters he portrayed in his play was Abigail Williams. She was a young girl who provoked the search of witches to clear her own name after getting caught dancing in the woods. Abigail needed to find a scapegoat to blame for her acts and she uses her credibility, jealousy, and selfishness to change the village of Salem to a place of wrongful accusations and back stabbings.

Abigail Williams is the niece of Reverend Parris, and she uses her credibility to help be believed by the rest of the townspeople. Abigail uses the first part of act one to worry about the possibility of her being disgraced for being found to be dancing in the woods with a group of girls. She finds a way out though when Tituba confesses and is then blessed for going back to heavens side. This offers Abigail a way out and she cries out I want to open myself!...I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osborn with the Devil! I Saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! (45)

After naming these names she is considered a credible source because she has a first count experience for being with the Devil and seeing who his other followers are. Immediately after saying this, another character Putnam proclaims “The marshal, I’ll call the marshal!” (45) and Hale responds “Let the marshal bring irons!” (45). The responses of these characters prove that the townspeople believe in Abigail’s accusations, because she has repented for her sins and is ready to help rid Salem of the Devil by naming...
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