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Guilty As A Witch Essay

926 words - 4 pages

The devil is defined as being a spirit or power of evil. In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, numerous citizens of Salem Village are prosecuted and convicted for having made contact with the devil. While historically, the Salem Witch Trials were an effect of greed and vengeance and are said to be false, the devil was indeed present in the town of Salem; he takes the shape of a young girl named Abigail Williams. Abigail depicts her evil spirit and coalition with the devil though her deception of anyone willing to listen, her irrational behavior, and her immoral actions, which directly defy the Puritan church.
A lie is dangerous and powerful in the hands of anyone, but in a sinner’s hands, it has the potential to be fatal. Give the power to lie to one such as Abigail Williams and “thirty-nine people [may] be arrested” (Miller 56). The arrest of each of the thirty-nine Salem citizens is directly, or indirectly, at the fault of Abigail Williams because of her false statements and accusations. What may possess her to place so many lives on the line is beyond rational reasoning; but after consideration, one may come to the conclusion that Abigail has an evil soul. An evil soul is not something others can treat, or even see; this illuminates the means by which Abigail fools so many intelligent people into trusting her and feeling contrite for her. She easily denies accusations by simply promising there “[is] nothin’ more. [She swears] it” (11). So easily these lies slide off of her tongue into the innocent victims’ ears, and they believe every word. The ease of fraudulence she displays is remarkable, and it is no surprise that she sparks fear and awe in many of her young protégés and other revered members of Salem. Abigail eventually becomes so confident in herself that she has no objections to committing treachery against the town’s judge, Danforth. She lies so excessively for such an extensive period of time that she begins to believe herself; she believes that she is “[doing] her duty pointing out the devil’s people” (108). She realizes that by stating names in the courthouse, she is sending them to their deaths. Abigail must be soulless, by human standards, to be capable of sending life-long acquaintances to their deaths without having an anchor on her heart.
Abigail’s disorientation influences her to act irrationally throughout the entire play. When she is first asked if she “[is] conjuring spirits” (16) with her friends, she denies every accusation. As time continues, she comes to confirm the accusations she previously rejected and begins to accuse virtually every one of her friends, and anyone else she believes to be a...

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