Character Analysis The Crucible by Arthur Miller Is a play that takes place In 1692 In the small Massachusetts village of Salem. Salem is a Puritan community; they are a very restrictive society with strong beliefs. They believe in hard work and prayer, therefore they consider material and sexual desires unnatural and evil. Abigail Williams, the main character is the reason for the witch trials that begin in Salem. She is dishonest, manipulative and her seductive ways is what makes her the antagonist of this play.
William Paris and her little cousin Betty Paris. When she was eleven years old she witnessed her parents being murdered by Native Americans. The witch trials began when Paris found Betty, Abigail and his slave Tuba dancing in the forest late one night. The puritans compare the wilderness to a sign of the devil. He also stated that he saw a female running naked through the forest that evening. Paris became suspicious of witchcraft and confronts Abigail. She denies doing any activity of the sort but Paris Is still not convinced (Miller, p. 10). He also begins to wonder why
Abigail is no longer a servant for the Proctors and why nobody else has asked for her service in over seven months. Paris tells Abigail that her name isn’t entirely white in the town and she gets defensive. “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar” (Miller, p. 12)! Act one begins when Betty Is laying inert on her bed after spending the night In the forest. The Putnam, a well-known family In Salem and their servant Mercy gather In the Pearls household because they are concerned for poor Betty.
Doctor Grids, who has not been able to determine why Betty is ill, suggests witchcraft as a possible cause. Marry Warren, the new house servant for the Proctors tells Abigail and Mercy that everyone is suspicious of witchcraft for Betty illness as they try and wake her. All of the arguing in the room wakes Betty. As she wakes she tells Abigail that she will not tell that she drank blood nor will she tell that Ballad castes a spell In the hopes to kill Mrs.. Proctor. Abigail threatens Betty, Mary and Mercy If they dare say a word about what actually happened. And mark this.
Let either of you breath a word,or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring some pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do It; I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish (Miller, p. 20). John Proctor enters the room to see how Betty is doing which leaves only him, Betty and Abigail in the room. Abigail asks Proctor if he has come to see her, but Proctor denies it. She seduces him by trying to repeat history. Gag, I almost argot how strong you are, John Proctor” (Miller, p. 21)! The conversation reveals that seven months earlier, Abigail and Proctor had an affair while Abigail lived and worked in the Proctor household. Abigail is convinced that John Proctor is in love with her, he does not admit that to Abigail nor himself. I look for you John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian Women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes?
I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever the sin it is, you love me yet! John, pity me, pity me (Miller, p. 24)! Abigail continues to pursue John but she does not succeed. “Baby I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Baby’ (Miller, p. 23). Their affair occurred when John Proctors wife Elizabeth Proctor became ill and he gave in to temptation and became intimate with Abigail. He committed a sin and does not believe that God or his wife will ever forgive him.
Abigail wants Elizabeth dead so that she can have John all to herself. Elizabeth loves him for all the right reasons, while Abigail loves him for selfish reasons. Ironically this idea backfired on her and her selfishness actually got John killed. In conclusion, Abigail Williwaw’s malicious ways greatly affects the plot of the play. Having no morals she only acted in her best interest, being the reason for the death of so many innocent people living in Salem. Her twisted ways are cruel but captivating and leave her character being unforgettable. Bibliography Miller, A. (2003). The Crucible. Penguin Classics.