English 3 HN
18 March 2014
In my depiction, the events of the Salem Witch Trials were most responsible by Abigail Williams. In Arthur Miller’s play, Abigail demonstrated her malevolent ways by showing her lustful and violent characteristics, along with her personal vendetta against Elizabeth Proctor. These character flaws, in my opinion, were the driving force that started the events in Salem, Massachusetts. Her hatred for Elizabeth, and wanting her dead, was the reasoning behind her drinking a blood charm in the forest, which was witchcraft. Her lust for John Proctor completely denied good Christian values, and her violent threats to the girls involved in the woods showed that she obviously had something to hide. In this document, I will prove her flawed actions with quotes from the story, and in-depth detail of how these actions contributed to the trials.
In Act 1 of Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, Betty, the daughter of Reverend Parris and Abigail’s cousin, says “You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” Abigail was once a servant in John and Elizabeth Proctor’s household. In that time, Abigail had an affair with John, whilst he was married to Elizabeth. After Elizabeth discovered this, she put Abigail out of her house. Since then Abigail claims that Elizabeth wants nothing more than to soil her flawless image amongst the community, along with the fact that Abigail is in love with John. She wants nothing more than to replace Elizabeth as his wife. So this is why she drank the charm. The charm was blood, which she drank as a wicked attempt to have Elizabeth killed. Later in the passage, she exclaims with anger, “Oh, I marvel how such a strong man let such a sickly wife be…” before she is cut off by John. This quote proves that she holds John in high standard, but despises his wife. She wishes more than anything that she could be his wife, instead of Elizabeth.
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