Characterization is important to all works of literature because it reveals the personality and motivations of the character. In Arthur Millers’ drama The Crucible several characters become important to the story. One important character in The Crucible is Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams is one of the original and foremost accusers in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Her accusations claimed the live of many innocent victims in Salem, Massachusetts.
Abigail’s motivation toward her attributions were because of a secret past relationship between her and John Proctor. While John Proctor was married to Elizabeth Proctor, he had a short-term affair with Abigail Williams. Afterwards John refused to leave his wife for Abigail or have a relationship with her. This made Abigail furious and when in court she testified Elizabeth Proctor as a witch, along with anyone else who tried to save her, in hopes of one day being with John Proctor.
During trials Abigail would lead a group of girls into accusing others as witches by suddenly feeling ill, claiming to seeing spirits, and fainting. These were significant actions that led many to believe that the accused were really possessed. For example, during Elizabeth trial Abigail says, “A wind, a cold wind, has come” (872), and then her eyes fell on Mary Warren. Another example is when Abigail tries to blame Tituba of withcraft by claming that, “She sends her spirits on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer” (847).
Abigail Williams is a character of no morals that only acted in her best interest. She is also very deceitful and careless of others. In conclusion I feel that Abigail Williams is the villain in this story. Because of her actions and the towns reaction John Proctor honestly believed that “God is dead” (876). For these reasons and more I believe Abigail Williams is the most evil characters in Puritan history.
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