Crucible Character Analyses of Abigail Williams

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The play "Crucible" is set in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692; the government is a theocracy. Hard work and church consume the majority of a Salem resident’s time. Within the community, there are regular disputes over land; but disagreement over land boundaries is not the only simmering situation that becomes out of control. Abigail, the orphaned niece to Reverend Parris, is cast out of the house of John and Elizabeth Proctor because of her part in the infidelity and adultery committed with John Proctor. Her uncle is suspicious of her hasty exit, and even more so when he discovers her dancing in the woods. In order to avoid punishment, Abigail claims to be victimised by evil, thus causing madness that spread like wildfire through Salem, claiming many innocent souls. Yet the one who escaped punishment, Abigail, is not innocent. However, her crime, invisible to the eyes of the judges, for whom faith had replaced psychology, is not to have trafficked with the Devil; it is, with truly diabolic determination, to have brought about the ruin of the woman she cannot forgive for being married to the one she loves. Throughout the play, the people of Salem are consumed by paranoia and fear. Abigail is able to prey on that fear, as well as every other humanly weakness, and with her cunning, she is able to bend others to do her will. With a combination of lies and threats, as well as her capability to take advantage of paranoia and hysteria, Abigail seems to be an untouchable antagonist. When first introduced to the antagonist, we develop sympathy for Abigail, "enters - a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, with endless capacity for dissembling." We are told that she is "strikingly beautiful" which undoubtedly gives us a brief visual aid of her appearance, author Arthur miller may have chosen to tell us this to suggest she is seductive and he emphasises the fact that she is "beautiful" with a powerful adverb, "strikingly". We then become aware that she is an "orphan", this...
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