The Crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor Pages: 3 (1007 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Essay for The Crucible
* Compare the roles that Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams play in The Crucible. In the play, The Crucible, there are a variety of characters that serve various purposes, a primary one being a representative of the people that were actually present during the Salem Witch Trials and The McCarthyism era. Albeit different people, many of the people presented in both of these times had similar roles to play in the grand scheme of things, and thus, Arthur Miller created Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor to portray two kinds of people that were present. We are comparing Abigail and Elizabeth due to their stark differences in personality and character. In the play, Abigail serves an antagonist role, fully utilizing her devious nature to bring about chaos in the Salem village, and even more so, bring destruction in the Proctor house. Whereas, Elizabeth, with all her righteousness and chivalry, attempts to save her family, and also try to reason with the reverend to persuade them to use better judgment. They both play different roles in the play, and it naturally the consequences of their actions are remotely different. One of the differences between Abigail and Elizabeth lies in the relationship between the accuser and the accused. Miller manages to show Abigail as a villainous character through multiple reasons while maintaining a simple message that accusing people wrongfully is a horrendous thing to do. She is shown to be accusing people in the whole village, managing to get the number of accused persons to hundreds in just a few weeks. Abigail, at the most basic level of the play, is simply a person who could care less about anything, except for their own gain. By accusing people, Abigail can be seen gaining multiple things of interest: Fame in the village, entertainment (which was hard to come by in the Puritan society), and lastly, John Proctor. Therefore, she is a very direct reminiscent of the people of the Salem village...
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