Abigail Williams Analysis – The Crucible
Abigail Williams, the antagonist of The Crucible is a manipulative, selfish liar. The Salem witchcraft trials were used as a platform for revenge and sent a lot of innocent people to the gallows. Arthur Miller uses this historically fictional story to expose the corruption of the trials. Abigail Williams uses the vulnerability of the town to get revenge on people who have done her wrong. Abigail seems to think she has a high level of maturity and can do whatever she wants. She has an affair with John Proctor, the protagonist, while she was his housekeeper. Elizabeth, John’s wife, fired Abigail because of this. Abigail, vengeful, convinces her slave, Tituba, to put a curse on Elizabeth so John could be all hers. She even goes and begs John to leave Elizabeth. John ensures it was one time thing, never to happen again. This sends Abigail on a passion-fueled spree, doing whatever it takes to get Elizabeth out of the picture. Abigail always has a different version of the truth, and is able to convince everyone else that her version is right.
Abigail Williams is manipulative and needs everything to go her way. In a desperate attempt to save herself from embarrassment, she threaten to any girl that will tell the minister the truth, instead of the story they discussed. Mary Warren tries to convince Abigail to just tell the truth, saying, “[w]e must tell the truth, Abby! You’ll only be whipped for dancin’, and the other things!” (Miller 18) Abigail, just like her uncle, is not willing to risk her reputation. To make sure the other girls don’t threaten her pure image, she tells them, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word about other things , and i will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” (Miller 19) When she is on the brink of getting caught, she cleverly manages to distract the town and place blame on Tituba and several other Salem women.