One of the similarities between these two women, ironically enough, is their romantic interest in John Proctor; of course, he is legitimately married to Elizabeth Proctor, but Abigail Williams has an obsession with him ever since their romantic affair. This of course created a great deal of tension and anger between these two women, and is one of the driving events behind the plot of the play itself (Johnson, 1998). As if this is not a serious enough situation for the two women to be sharing, as women in Salem during this time, they also both had to come to grips with the possibility that at any time they could be accused of witchcraft, and even killed for it, whether or not they were guilty of being witches. This is the way that life was in Salem, and how people had to live- similarly, the women were thrown into this "crucible", which was the basis for the name of the play.
Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor had differences as well; obviously, they had "differences" with each other because of the romantic situation with Elizabeth's husband, but they also were different from one another in several ways. Probably due to her rough upbringing as an orphan, Abigail is a quiet and basically distant person who is somewhat distant in nature. However, Elizabeth is more of a cold and harsh person with a mean streak, which makes her seek revenge against anyone who she thinks may have done something wrong to her. For Abigail, this was of course very bad news, because she actually did do something wrong to Elizabeth. However, Elizabeth also has a paranoid streak which makes her think that people have done things against her, when they really have not done so (Oggel, 2004).
Overall, when these two characters are compared, what can be seen are two women, faced by challenging times, but completely different in personality and attitude. This complex relationship helps to make "The Crucible" a classic drama.
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