H. American Lit
24 September 2012
Abigail and Reverend Hale: The Characters of the “Devil”
During the time of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, there were people with manipulative and equivocal personalities who drastically altered the aspects of Massachusetts. Consequently, chaos caused an intractable problem in the government of Salem, and its principles ruined. Thus, in Miller’s The Crucible, Miller shows, through fictional characters, how and who the Salem Witch Trials affected and how or by whom it was caused. Taking advantage of the mass hysteria in Salem, Abigail Williams and Reverend John Hale heavily influenced the Salem Witch Trials; Abigail started the witchcraft rumors and was responsible for the hangings of several people and Reverend Hale, who thought of himself as a knowledgeable person of witchcraft, and towards the end was devastated with the revelation that he had in fact, part-taken in the “Devil’s work.” *
In relation to The Crucible by Miller, Abigail supports the 3rd definition of crucible because of her manipulative and conniving personality and how she feeds upon the fear of Salem’s people to create mass hysteria. For example, Abigail’s relationship with Elizabeth is hostile and bitter and she strongly dislikes Elizabeth with a fiery passion because of Elizabeth’s marriage with John Proctor. She is a liar when she says, “Why, I am sure it is, sir. There is no blush about my name (Miller. I. 11),” in response to the rumor of her affair with John Proctor. Abigail gets Mary Warren to plant a poppet in Elizabeth’s house so that there is compelling evidence against Elizabeth, and this shows that Abigail is really manipulative and aggressive. Abigail shows her scheming personality when she says, “She hates me, Uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman (Miller. I. 11).” By saying this, she puts the blame...
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