However, there are also differences between the two characters. Hester Prynne is the more respectable Puritan woman of the two because she did not commit as many sins as Abigail did, she was not as secretive about it, and her actions only affected herself and her child.
Hester did sin horribly but it was not comparable to Abigail's many sins. The sins that Abigail were guilty of were wrath, avarice, lust, and envy, while Hester only committed lust. Hester's adulterous behavior was considered one of the worst sins of the Puritan women. Although that was an awful sin to have committed, Abigail committed a sin of the same kind and more. Abigail and Hester both knew that what they did was wrong. Hester took the blame and did not lie about what happened. Abigail lied and made her friends lie just so she would not get in trouble for her sin. Abigail's behavior and involvement of others created a more complex reason to judge her as less respectable of the two.
Hester was not secretive about committing her crime as Abigail was.
Abigail is even described as "an orphan with an endless capacity for dissembling" (page 9). This proves that she tried to cover up her actions.
Hester did not try to hide the fact from the townspeople that she was pregnant; she only tried to conceal the identity of the father of her baby.
Abigail, on the other hand, made sure that the citizens of Salem did not find out that she and her friends had been lying when they accused many innocent people of witchcraft. She even went as far as to threaten John Proctor by telling him that if he told, she would have him and his wife hanged. She also threatened her friends many times throughout the novel.
At one point, she said "Let any of you breathe a...