Abigail Williams In Act One Of The Crucible By Arthur Miller

2022 words - 8 pages

How Arthur Miller Establishes the Character and Motivation of Abigail Williams in Act One and How She is Not to be Trusted

Arthur Miller wrote ‘The Crucible’ in the 1950’s during the Cold War.
The play is a study in the mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem
witchcraft trials. It shows the consequences of being accused as a
witch. The reason for a witch hunt is because it is a sign of the
devil and in Salem no one is more superior than God. The people of the
town live for God, respect God and die even for God.

Abigail Williams is the main character in ‘The Crucible’. She is 17
but despite her age she is very deceitful, fraudulent and malicious.
She only cares about herself and will do anything to get what she
wants even if it means lying when in the house and court of God.

The way that Arthur Miller shows us that Abigail is not to be trusted
throughout the play is by the use of language, the stage directions
and the way she contradicts herself. In the first few introductory
lines Arthur Miller describes Abigail as ‘A strikingly beautiful girl,
an orphan, with an endless capacity for dissembling’ this instantly
makes the reader form a negative opinion of Abigail and makes them
suspicious of her character.

In the first scene Tituba ‘Negro slave’ enters the room where Abigail
and Reverend Parris are standing around the bed in which Betty lays.
Reverend Parris is the most respected man in the village due to the
fact that he is the minister (highest priest). Betty is his daughter
who is seemingly bewitched and will not wake, Abigail; his niece.
Abigail and other girls were seen by Reverend Parris dancing in the
virgin forest which ‘Salem folk believe was the Devil’s last
preserve’. All the villagers are scared because not only did these
girls go into the forest but they danced too, and in those days this
was seen as a sin, a sign of the Devil. The fact that the girls were
dancing in the forest away from the town, shows the Salem folk they
were afraid of being caught, therefore encouraging suspicion.

When Reverend Parris confronts Abigail that he saw her and Betty
“dancing like heathen in the forest”, she admits that it is true, but
she denies everything else, “Let you tell them I confessed it – and
I’ll be whipped if I must be … We did dance … And there’s the whole of
it … We never conjured spirits.” This is a tactic which becomes
familiar throughout the play and she insists the dancing was mere
“sport” but tells Parris nothing more. Parris is afraid of what other
people will think because he is their minister.

Reverend Parris then questions Abigail about whether her name in the
town is “entirely white”. He is hinting to her that there has been
gossip, and he is worried it might be true. When she replies ‘there is
an edge of resentment’ and she finds it hard to conceal her...

Find Another Essay On Abigail Williams in Act One of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Character Study of Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1946 words - 8 pages Character Study of Abigail From Arthur Miller's The Crucible Arthur Miller was inspired to write The Crucible because of what happened in America in the 1950's. Suspicion of witchcraft and an association with the Devil had arisen in the 1600s in Salem, Massachsetts. The allegations and apprehension is comparable with the period of

Abigail Williams of The Crucible Essay

1248 words - 5 pages he gave her. When Abigail was younger she witnessed both of her parent’s being killed. “I saw Indians smash my dear parent’s heads on the pillow next to mine”. (Miller 20) However in the beginning of The Crucible Abigail is portrayed to be innocent because she is an orphan and she saw the murder of her parents. After the incident she was raised by her Uncle Parris. Although being raised by her uncle she never felt loved by him because he was never

In The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, would u view Abigail as evil??

1086 words - 4 pages When the Greeks founded the theatre in ancient Greece they expected the story plot to always follow as such: The protagonist, who was an honest and brave hero, makes the world a more just place. He does this by fighting evil, with his just ways, and always is victorious. However, in ancient Greece they never imagined that people like Arthur Miller could take such a twist on things. Miller's play The Crucible shows us that the protagonist isn't

Creating Tension in Act 2 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

725 words - 3 pages Creating Tension in Act 2 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Arthur Miller's play The Crucible is set in Salem in 1692. At that time there was a lot of tension, as many people were being accused of witchcraft and being against God. In the play Miller shows how the accusations affected everyone in Salem. Miller creates a sense of tension by setting the scene in a "low, dark room." This room is quiet and gloomy as very little light is

Miller’s Presentation of Abigail Williams in The Crucible

2134 words - 9 pages trust her or see her as the innocent young girl leading them to salvation as they used to. She knows that she will be found as a fraud soon, so decides to leave rather than accept responsibility. Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ is very much based around the actions of Abigail Williams and the affect one girl can have on a whole society. Miller has confessed that it is Abigail's involvement in the story that got him interested in the first place

Review of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

931 words - 4 pages play. "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller was written in 1953 in it it explored in great detail the madness of the Salem witch trials. Miller wrote about the event as a parable for McCarthyism and the Red Scare; which occurred in the United States in the 1950's. Miller himself was called before the House Committee on Un-American activities and convicted of contempt of congress for not cooperating. Arthur Miller's adaption earned him an Academy

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

2173 words - 9 pages sequence of events and sudden tension that was built up on the final stages of Act one. The irony and events in act one are only a precursor of the climax in act three. In “The Crucible” the playwright Arthur Miller uses many techniques to attract and maintain the audiences’ interest. These consist of dramatic irony, which is used since the audience know that Abigail is only accusing members of Salem of been witches in

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

1604 words - 7 pages In the play The Crucible, Arthur Miller shows how a repressed Puritan town in 1692 can be turned upside down when the threat of witchcraft is taken seriously. The Puritans believe the forest is where the Devil lurks, and they are fearful of the Devil. So when Parris, the town of Salem’s Reverend, catches a group of girls dancing and magic spirits in the forest, the town suspects that some sort of witchcraft is being practiced. The girls deny

The Importance of Names in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

975 words - 4 pages The Importance of Names in The Crucible by Arthur Miller What is the importance of names? In this essay I will be trying to answer the question “What is the importance of names.” Based on the play – The Crucible. Briefly I will explain what happened in the play. In Salem village, Massachusetts, in 1692, which hysteria swept the area? Salem village was a puritan society, you either loved God and did no wrong or you lived with a

The Evil of Fear in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

571 words - 2 pages In The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, the strict Puritan community of Salem is bombarded with the hysteria of witchcraft. It starts when five young girls of Salem are caught dancing in the forest. Instead as mere children playing, this behavior is viewed upon by the Puritans as the work of the devil. As the hysteria builds momentum, more and more accusations radiate. Reverend Hale, a well known expert on witches, is brought into

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

693 words - 3 pages The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller during the 1950’s. The Crucible is a story that takes place in Salem Massachusetts in 1692. The Crucible begins with group of girls being caught by Reverend Parris dancing around a fire. Abigail one of the leaders of the group gets questioned by Reverend Parris about witchcraft, deny's the doings and rumours quickly fill the town about witchcraft. Abigail who was a worker in John Proctor's house

Similar Essays

Abigail Williams In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

687 words - 3 pages In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible Abigail Williams, an unmarried orphan in the Massachusetts town of Salem, incessantly grows more jealous, her desire for vengeance only grows stronger, and her selfishness escalates. She repeatedly lies to save herself by denying her involvement in witchcraft. Abigail's Jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor intensifies in attempt to realize her desire for Elizabeth's husband John Proctor. In order to save

Abigail Williams In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

3389 words - 14 pages Abigail Williams is the troubled niece of Reverend Parris of Salem. She is an orphan; made so by brutal natives who killed her parents before her very eyes. The witch-hunt begins when Abigail is at the age of seventeen. She has a large role in this novel, especially on these dark events and also her relationship with John Proctor. In my opinion from what I have understood from the text she is a tempestuous character. She is initially

Abigail Williams In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2137 words - 9 pages also find out that Abigail has witnessed the bloody murder of her parents, by Native Americans. We first realise this when Abigail mentions this when she speaks to "the girls" in Act One. "I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads, on the pillow next to mine." I believe that Miller mentions Abigail's past on an attempt to get the audience/readers to sympathise with Abigail. It is as if he informs the viewers/readers of her traumatic

Abigail Williams In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2198 words - 9 pages Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Throughout the play “the Crucible,” we see the many different sides of Abigail Williams’ character. Arthur Miller has created an interesting and complex character with various personality traits, and her controlling and manipulative nature becomes evident for the audience during the very first scene. Abigail is first introduced as “seventeen, a strikingly beautiful