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Character of Abigail Williams

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    Abigail Williams

    “Why are you concealing? Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?” (Miller 1106). Abigail Williams is a seventeen-year-old niece of Reverend Parris. Abigail lies to conceal her affair, and to prevent charges of witchcraft. In order to avoid severe punishment for casting spells and adultery, Abigail shifts the focus away from herself by accusing others of witchcraft. This desperate act of self-defense soon becomes Abigail’s path of power. Abigail is not a victim of her own society in Salem but outside forces have compelled her to perform ungodly things on herself and others. Another outcome of the acts of witchcraft performed by Abigail is the past or present events that have occurred to her in her lifetime. Abigail is very self-seeking and she is driven by jealousy over John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth. Abigail in the eyes of judges in the court is considered a victim of society when in reality everyone else is a victim of Abigail Williams. Abby says, “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!” (Miller 1105). This is a response to Parris’ accusation that Abigail’s name is blackened in the town by Goody Proctor after Abigail has had an affair with her husband, John Proctor.

    She tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths. She is a cruel antagonist that will stop at nothing to attain her mad goals. “Abigail is a fierce antagonist less subtle but dramatically more powerful” (Dunkelberger 104). An antagonist is always the villain in the story, never the victim. Abigail is always sacrificing others to save herself. She convinces the judges to think she is the victim with her power to be very dramatic and this is soon to be picked up by all the other girls. They combine this tool to determine how the court is run and use it to have Elizabeth Proctor away. The events that occur, mostly lead back to past issues or problems Abigail experienced in her life so far. Many events from Abigail’s past are the main sources of her insanity and constant will to kill Elizabeth Proctor. Betty says, “You did, you did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (Miller 1107). This is indicating that Abigail is committed to witchcraft and it’s something she takes seriously.

    The incident when she drinks blood is a clear sign of her insanity and commitment to the devil. “Her parents were murdered before her eyes when she was a child” (Jimerson 61). This can be very psychologically destroying for a child to endure and is the main problem she has to face for her entire life. It can be hard for her because she never really has had anyone to turn to besides an uncle that holds a burden on her. All of the acts performed by Abigail can also be the cause of outside forces. Outside forces are mostly the main cause of her ungodly decisions and insanity. “Abigail’s dominant motive is to destroy Elizabeth Proctor and sleep with her husband, John” (Murray 68). This is where jealousy steps in and takes control of Abigail’s motive to take John from Elizabeth. To get what she wants she uses her ability to be very dramatic to convince the court that Elizabeth is working with the devil.

    “Her desire for revenge unleashes the hatreds and fears seething beneath the surface in Salem though she is not the cause of those hatreds” (Jimerson 61). Revenge can be a very powerful thing and this can fuel Abigail to keep up this act in Salem. Abigail’s main drive throughout the play is to take John away from his wife and to get back at her for blackening her name in the town. Abigail is not a victim of her own society in Salem but outside forces have compelled her to perform ungodly things on herself and others. Another outcome of the acts of witchcraft performed by Abigail is the past or present events that have occurred to her in her lifetime. She is very self-seeking and stops at nothing to put away Elizabeth Proctor to have john proctor all to herself.

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    Character of Abigail Williams. (2016, Nov 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/abigail-williams/

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