An analysis of the character of Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Melting Pot (2023)

Abigail Williams character analysis

says MillerStructurezcrucible"Focuses on John, Elizabeth and Abigail."Pastor Paris's niece, Abigail, was fired by Elizabeth Proctor seven months ago after discovering an affair between Abigail and her husband. Abigail has been living with Paris ever since. But she still missed Proctor, and by engaging his wife in Salem's mad witchcraft and having her hanged, she planned to become Proctor's wife. So he arranges to blindly follow his girlfriend, raising witch bogeymen and involving many innocent citizens in witch hunts. His motives are a mix of personal revenge and lust. It shows that people's fears can be manipulated to serve their own selfish ends.

Abigail Williams, the 17-year-old niece of Reverend Parris and the show's villain, is"Beautiful Girl...has Infinite Disguise".Sexual repression at the time leads Abigail and a group of teenagers to a secret exit in the woods, where they dance naked. Guilt and fear lead two of them, Ruth Putnam and Betty Parris, to fake or experience catatonia while Parris spying on them. Betty mysteriously falls ill, and Paris worries about Dr. Gregory was unable to diagnose the cause. Word of Reverend Hale's arrival, summoned as an expert in witchcraft, spread quickly, and hymn-singing villagers filled the room below. But Abigail told Paris"It's a sport, uncle!"When her accomplices, Marry Warren and Mercy Lewis, arrive, Abigail forces them to surrender. Later, when the girls are questioned, Abigail tries to clear her name by accusing the black West Indian slave Tituba of being an instrument of the devil.

pretends to be his name"born", Is not"dirty",This is"Don't blush"about her"Name".She got fired from Good Proctor,"Gossip Liar"electronic"A Bitter Woman, a Lying Woman, Cold and Crying"Because he doesn't want to be a "slave" to her. Regarding her subsequent inability to find work, she said haughtily:

“They want slaves, not like me. Let them ship to Barbados instead. I will not blacken my face for any of them."

but she stayed"As if you were standing on your tiptoes and watching your presence with your eyes wide open",When John Proctor came in. She had a brief fling with him when she was working as a maid seven months ago, and for that reasonElizabethWhen Proctor found him. She begged John,"Give me a word, John, a soft word."Their brief exchange reveals Abigail's longing for John, her hatred of his wife Elizabeth, and her determination not to rekindle their relationship. She reminded him:

(Video) Video SparkNotes: Arthur Miller's The Crucible summary

“I know how you grab my back in the back of your house and sweat every time I come near! ... I saw your face when she kicked me out and you loved me, love me now too!

He, too, had stood outside her window for the past seven months, staring into the night, "burning in his loneliness." Proctor reluctantly admits:

“Abby, I think of you fondly from time to time. But before I try to get close to you again, I'm going to cut off my hand.

But she didn't give up. With tears in her eyes she told him,

"I'm looking for John Proctor who lifted me from sleep and brought knowledge to my heart! ... You love me, John Proctor, and despite all the crimes you still love me! ... John, have mercy on me, have mercy on me!

(Video) The Crucible by Arthur Miller | Summary & Analysis

His previous illicit relationship drove a wedge between John and his wife. She still doesn't trust him. She believed and rightly believed that Abigail had summoned the spirit of witchcraft to accuse and hang her so she could take her place in John's life and family. Elizabeth wanted her husband to tell Ezekiel Cheever, who later became a court standard bearer, of this.

The second scene of act two was cut from the published text, revealing more about Abigail and John. AbigailOportunismThis is evident in the opening scene when he dodges Tituba Hale's questions. She is immoral and does not care about her well-meaning maid who asks for amulets but now denounces her as a witch.

Abigail's change was evident to the inspector when she told him,"The vaccine your wife gave me is still not good",Refers to the stop pin in the trigger.

John's conscience is tormented by his adultery and endangering Elizabeth's life, and Abby's outburst when he swears only adds to his guilt.

(Video) Context of The Crucible - Arthur Miller

"Oh John, when the world turns white again, I'll make you a wife like that."

She then started shaking and pretended that Mary Warren had sent her ghost in the form of a yellow bird to the ceiling of the courtroom, where she froze in the cold wind. Judge Hathorn confirmed this by touching his hand. The other girls also started seeing yellow birds on the ceiling coming to attack them and they were just as scared. So did Danforth, while Proctor continued to protest:"They're pretending!"Mary Warren was so moved by the trembling girls that she seemed hypnotized. She began to beg:"Lord, help me! ... Abby, don't do it!When Proctor tries to catch her, she becomes hysterical and runs for the door. Abigail's malevolent influence is so strong that she eventually retracts her testimony and accuses Proctor of witchcraft while Abigail looks up and cries:"Father, take this shadow away!"Proctor was surprised by this sudden event. He shouted to her:

“What is the way to heaven! Whore! Whore!"

Danfoss is"dazed"But Abigail coldly tells him that Proctor is lying. He then confessed to sexual desire and accused her of falsely accusing his wife of witchcraft and hanging her.

Proctor's hysteria was supported by Reverend Hale, who is now disgusted by the lawsuit and has finally withdrawn from the trial:"I trust him! ... This girl always seems fake to me.Abigail re-engages the yellow bird attack hysterics on the ceiling. The others join her and start screaming. John Proctor was announced as"The Devil's Man"Arrested and eventually hanged for witchcraft against Mary Warren.

(Video) Plot Summary of The Crucible by Arthur Miller in Under 10 Minutes

We recently heard from Abigail that a depressed Proctor told Danforth that Abigail stole £31 from him and tookLewis' mercyUntil finally, she opportunistically opened the safe, left with almost six months' salary, and arranged a sea voyage for herself. In the epilogue we learn:

Legend has it that Abigail later showed up in Boston as a prostitute.

Sometimes literature throws us a bone in the form of a really great antagonist. Someone we hate but find totally attractive. The ones that freeze the blood in our veins, but we can't stop watching. is Abigail Williamsvindictive, selfish, manipulative, This isgreat liarThis incredibly beautiful seventeen-year-old girl seems to have a special gift for causing death and destruction wherever she goes. He has an amazing sense of how to manipulate and take control of other people. She was the stone that started the avalanche of Salem witch trials. She let 19 innocent people die. These things make her an incredible opponent.

Also read:

  • The meaning of the title The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Abigail isn't just a gifted liarextremely stubbornWhen he wants something, he goes for it, if something doesn't work, he happily sticks to plan B. A good example is Abigail's pursuit of John Proctor. Since Abigail wants John Proctor, she asks Tituba to make a potion to kill Goody Proctor. When that doesn't work, she begs John to take her in; when that doesn't work, she accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft and manages to have her arrested.

(Video) The Crucible ACT I

A simple and superficial interpretation of Abigail's character is to describe her ascomputer sociopath, and there is some evidence to support this claim. In the first act, Abigail takes the opportunity to shift the blame on herself to Tituba and Ruth, then just Tituba, then Sarah Goode, Goody Osborn, and Bridget Notorious women like Bishop. She doesn't care about the fate of guilty women - she just blames them for her own goals.

Domillersays AbigailDavidthunder, This is

"A brutal prostitute who not only jumped at the opportunity to replace Elizabeth Proctor when the time came, not only maintaining despotic discipline among suffering girls, but starting a whole cycle of selfish accusations."


An analysis of the character of Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Melting Pot? ›

Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar. This young lady seems to be uniquely gifted at spreading death and destruction wherever she goes. She has an eerie sense of how to manipulate others and gain control over them.

What is the character analysis of Abigail? ›

Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar. This young lady seems to be uniquely gifted at spreading death and destruction wherever she goes. She has an eerie sense of how to manipulate others and gain control over them.

What is the role of Abigail Williams in The Crucible by Arthur Miller? ›

Of the major characters, Abigail is the least complex. She is clearly the villain of the play, more so than Parris or Danforth: she tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths.

What type of characterization is used in this description of Abigail? ›

Indirect characterization is heavily used throughout the play. Indirect characterization is Revealing a fictitious character's personality through his or her actions, speech, or appearance. Abigail williams uses indirect characterization heavily also by allowing herself to show emotion through her character.

What is the indirect characterization of Abigail Williams? ›

Many characters take on this in the play, but one particular character of note, is Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams gives off that she's innocent and non guilty of incidents that have occurred, but in reality, she's scared of potential consequences because she is responsible for the Salem Witch Trials.

What is the summary of Abigail Williams? ›

Abigail Williams (born c. 1681, date of death unknown) was an 11- or 12-year-old girl who, along with nine-year-old Betty Parris, was among the first of the children to falsely accuse their neighbors of witchcraft in 1692; these accusations eventually led to the Salem witch trials.

Is Abigail the main character? ›

Abigail Williams is perhaps the most prominent main character in The Crucible. She leads a group of girls into the woods to dance with Tituba, her uncle's slave.

Who did Abigail accuse of witchcraft? ›

Elizabeth (Betty) Parris and Abigail Williams

Betty and Abigail soon accused Tituba, the enslaved woman owned by Samuel Parris, whose subsequent confession launched a full-blown witchcraft crisis in Salem.

What does Abigail fear in The Crucible? ›

Abigail and the other girls are afraid of being caught experimenting with witchcraft. Abigail has a pretty pronounced fear of abandonment. The whole town is afraid of the Devil invading Salem or false accusations of witchcraft that lead to whippings, hangings, and imprisonment.

Is Abigail Williams manipulative? ›

Abigail Williams is a manipulative character in Arthur Miller's play “The Crucible.” Miller illustrates this through the stage directions in Act One. It states, “…an endless capacity for dissembling.” (Miller 1130). This trait is how Abigail avoids conflict throughout the entire play.

How does Abigail protect her reputation? ›

Protecting her reputation motivates Abigail Williams to accuse others of being a witch. She will say or do anything to cover up the fact that she took a blood charm to kill John Proctor's wife, whom she had affair with.

Who does Abigail want dead What does this convey about her character? ›

Elizabeth Proctor is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams because Abigail wants to marry Elizabeth's husband, John, with whom she had an affair while serving in the Proctor household. “She wants me dead,” says Elizabeth of Abigail, and indeed, Abigail does intend for Elizabeth to die.

Why did Abigail drink the potion? ›

Abigail Williams

Parris, and his daughter, Betty. In a conjuring rite in the forest, where Abigail and other girls dance wildly around a cauldron, Abigail drinks rooster blood in attempt to summon spirits to kill Elizabeth Proctor.

What is an example of indirect characterization of a main character? ›

For example, indirect characterization describing a protagonist might read, “John snapped at the man without warning,” whereas direct characterization would say simply, “John was short-tempered.”

What are the characteristics of indirect characterization? ›

Indirect characterization shows character traits without directly telling them to the reader. The writer employs literary devices such as similes, metaphors, and analogies, as well as descriptions of character details such as their appearance, actions, thoughts, words, and reactions from other characters.

What does an example of indirect characterization look like? ›

It is the physical description of the character and what they look like on the outside. For example, if a character has red hair and freckles, that would be part of their appearance. Another example might be if a character is always impeccably dressed.

Is Abigail a victim or a villain? ›

Although Abigail Williams is typically thought of as the antagonist of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, she is in fact a victim as much as any other tragic character in the play. The true antagonist of the play is the town of Salem itself, because of the judgemental and self concerned peoples, and its oppressive views.

What is the theme of Abigail? ›

Truth, Illusion, and Desire

Szabó uses the mystery of Abigail to investigate the ways in which illusions can eclipse reality as a result of one's longing for salvation and love, even when the truth presents itself before our very eyes.

Why is Abigail jealous of Elizabeth? ›

Many of the characters are motivated by jealousy and greed in The Crucible. Abigail is motivated by jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor; she wants Elizabeth to die so she can marry John, Elizabeth's husband.

What is the conclusion of Abigail Williams? ›

Finally, Abigail Williams is selfish. She shows no remorse for causing the death of 20 innocent people all because of her want for John and to save her reputation. Abigail's motivations stem from her character traits.

Who does Abigail blame? ›

1185). Abigail accuses Tituba to manipulate the situation so that her actions are not exposed to prove she is the real “witch”. She then goes on to lie in court, and she falsely testifies, “Goody Proctor always kept poppets”(Miller III. 825-826).

Who does Abigail blame and why? ›

Abigail then tries to blame Tituba that threatening her because she believes that Tituba has been messing with her mind as she has a hint that she had conjuring the spirits.

How does Abigail treat the other girls? ›

Abigail uses her authority to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. She threatens the other girls with violence if they refuse to go along with her plans, and she does not hesitate to accuse them of witchcraft if their loyalty proves untrue. Such is the case with Mary Warren.

What did Abigail Williams confess to? ›

Thus, she falsely confesses to witchcraft. Abigail's so-called confession begins the long series of events that will lead to Abigail condemning both the Proctors to death.

Who made the claim against Abigail? ›

Only when Proctor accuses Abigail of being a whore does she end her fit and lose credibility with Danforth. When Proctor tells the court of his affair and Abigail's plot to kill Elizabeth, he gives the court another opportunity to end the trials.

Why did Abigail leave Salem? ›

Over the course of the first two acts, it is revealed that Abigail used to work for the Proctors but had an affair with John; she was kicked out when Elizabeth confronted John with her suspicions and he confessed.

Why is Abigail afraid the others will confess? ›

Why is Abigail afraid the others will confess what they were doing in the woods? She is afraid because she knows that they will incriminate her. How does Abigail treat the other girls? She treats them badly.

How is Abigail self centered? ›

Abigail is selfish because she was willing to let people die so she could avoid her punishment. She is also selfish because she places her own needs before the community. One thing Abigail is selfish of doing is trying to get with John Proctor when he is married.

Why does Abigail want revenge? ›

Abigail uses the witch trials to seek revenge on Elizabeth Proctor, her lover's wife, who fired her when she learned of her husband's affair. Abigail hopes that she can take Elizabeth's place as John's wife once she gets Elizabeth out of the way.

What does Abigail do to discredit Mary? ›

30. How do Abigail and the other girls turn the accusation against Mary Warren? They pretend that Mary Warren has turned herself into a bird who is now attacking the court.

What is the evidence of Abigail being cruel? ›

Abigail uses coercive power to threaten the girls because she doesn't want her reputation ruined, she knows she will be hung if the girls say a word so she tells them “I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” she basically implies she will kill them if they ruin her reputation.

Who is fearful of Abigail's intentions? ›

Susanna Walcott, Mercy Lewis, Betty Parris

All of these girls possess a common fear of Abigail, and carry out her orders in an attempt to evade their own punishment at her hands.

Why did Abigail stick a needle in her stomach? ›

Abigail has seen Mary Warren sewing the poppet in court and she knows that Mary Warren will give the doll to Elizabeth later. The fact that Abigail willingly inflicts a stabbing wound upon herself demonstrates how far she will go to destroy Elizabeth and possess Proctor.

Why does Abigail cause hysteria? ›

Abigail herself, “leads the girls in their accusations in court against some of the most well-respected and good townspeople” (Blooms 16). She continuously accuses people that get in the way of what she wants. This vindictive behavior increases the mass hysteria throughout Salem.

What is point of view in the story? ›

Point of view is the writer's way of deciding who is telling the story to whom. Establishing a clear point of view is important because it dictates how your reader interprets characters, events, and other important details. There are three kinds of point of view: first person, second person, and third person.

What are the 5 methods of Analysing characters? ›

The five methods are physical description, action, inner thoughts, reactions, and speech. We examined each method in a short example in order to have a good understanding of how authors use the various methods of characterization to develop the characters and create images for the audience.

What is an example of direct and indirect characterization? ›

Direct - Jane was a beautiful young girl. She had golden hair and blue eyes, which made her stand out from the rest. Indirect - When Jane walked in the room, nobody could help but look at her stunning, gorgeous face. She commanded attention wherever she went due to her good looks.

What is an example of character and characterization? ›

Direct Characterization tells the audience what the personality of the character is. Example: “The patient boy and quiet girl were both well mannered and did not disobey their mother.” Explanation: The author is directly telling the audience the personality of these two children.

When an author reveals what a character says that is an example of? ›

Indirect characterization is the method used in literature to describe a character by revealing their thoughts, speech, dialogue, or actions.

What effects does this indirect characterization have on the story? ›

Indirect characterization lets readers get to know a character through thoughts, actions, and speech. This type of characterization focuses on how your character interacts with other characters, as well as the world around them.

What are 2 examples of direct characterization? ›

Examples of direct characterization would be: ◾“Bill was short and fat, and his bald spot was widening with every passing year.” ◾“'Jane is a cruel person,' she said. '”

What is an example of implicit characterization? ›

This occurs when an author gives you a character's thoughts, actions, interactions, speech, and context. For instance, "Mr. Deike slammed his fist on the his desk when the students didn't understand his instructions." From that action, you could infer about my character that I'm an angry individual.

Why is Abigail the antagonist? ›

Abigail is the antagonist of the play. She stands opposed to John Proctor, even though she claims to love him and want to be with him. Her refusal to believe that their affair is over, and her desire for revenge on John and his wife, Elizabeth, drive the action of the play.

Is Abigail a victim of her society? ›

The devastating past event of having her parents killed proves that Abigail is a victim of her society as she is an orphan. Parents play a key role for their children while they are growing up, they can teach them right from wrong and Abigail did not have these privileges.

Why does Abigail abuse her power? ›

She wants to abuse her power to make people agitated to not mess with her. Throughout the acts Abigail mainly uses Coercive, Legitimate and Informational power to make people fear her so she could get what she wants. Abigail is a manipulative person who will go out of the way to keep her reputation clean.

Why was Abigail manipulative? ›

Abigail uses power and manipulation throughout the play to get what she wants and make people fear her.

Why does Abigail blame everyone? ›

Abigail knows that if she accuses someone, the court and adults will believe her. She feels in charge when accusing since people truly believe her. However, Abigail blames others due to the fact that she is selfish and self-centered.

What is the lesson of Abigail? ›

In 1 Samuel 25, a beautiful story emerges, one of submission and deliverance. Abigail is a lesser-known heroine in the Bible, a humble woman who was married to a wealthy scoundrel. Abigail combined her wisdom with her wealth to appear before an approaching enemy to plead for the safety of her husband's household.

How does Abigail view herself? ›

Character's view on herself

Abigail views herself as faithful to John Proctor because she does not want anyone else and she believes that what she is doing isn't as big of a deal as it should be.

What can you learn from Abigail? ›

Lessons from Abigail in the Bible
  • Take Action Quickly. ...
  • Be Humble. ...
  • Look at the bigger picture. ...
  • A true warrior is loyal, faithful, and selfless. ...
  • God will fight for you. ...
  • Be Knowledgeable. ...
  • Be Approachable. ...
  • Be aware of timing.
Jan 2, 2023

Who is Abigail obsessed with? ›

She finds herself attracted to Proctor while working in the Proctor home. According to the Puritanical mindset, Abigail's attraction to Proctor constitutes a sin, but one that she could repent of and refuse to acknowledge. Abigail does the opposite. She pursues Proctor and eventually seduces him.

What is Abigail jealous of? ›

Abigail is motivated by jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor; she wants Elizabeth to die so she can marry John, Elizabeth's husband. Thomas Putnam is motivated by jealousy of other people's property; he wants George Jacobs to die so he can get his hands on a great piece of land.

Who does Abigail accuse of? ›

Elizabeth Proctor is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams because Abigail wants to marry Elizabeth's husband, John, with whom she had an affair while serving in the Proctor household.

Why did Abigail accuse others of witchcraft? ›

She accuses other people of witchcraft because it benefits her by helping her get out of trouble for dancing and conjuring in the woods; it also makes her seem more powerful (especially if those people "confess" and so corroborate her accusations).

Why are the townspeople fearful of Abigail? ›

Suddenly the townspeople revere the youth of the town, namely Abigail and the other girls, as instruments of God. Anyone who has crossed the girls lives in fear of being accused of witchcraft. As the leader of the group, Abigail has finally achieved the power she desires, and now she can use it to obtain Proctor.


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