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Innocent Murderer: Abigail As Victim In The Crucible

885 words - 4 pages

How can a girl who condemned seventy two to a death sentence and drank a charm to kill a man’s wife, a man she has slept with on more than one occasion be the victim? It’s possible when the town she lives in is worse than her. 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. Abigail;s outrageous actions are due to her desensitized views on death and actions otherwise viewed as unethical. From her youth ABigail recalls: “ I saw indians smash my dear parents’ head on the pillow next to mine and i have seen some reddish work at night” (Miller 20), because of this Abigail is numb to death and suffering and is in fact quite morbid. There is no problem in condemning other to death in Abigail’s eyes because she doesn’t see the issue with it. Abigail does not seem to comprehend that it is unethical to let people be hanged and stoned to death and has no issue telling others that she “ can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down” (Miller 20). Not only is Abigail desensitized to murder and death, she is also numb to other unethical dilemmas. Abigail is desensitized to corrupting the Proctor’s marriage because of her childish lust and obsession for John Proctor. Such desires can be seen through her encounters with Proctor. In regards to their so called “relationship” she says: “it’s she put me out, you cannot pretend it were you. I saw your face when she put me out, and you loved me then and you love me now!” (Miller 22). Abigail does not view her behavior towards John and Elizabeth Proctor as unethical because she believes that because of her relations with John she is in love and nothing should come between them. The behavior emitted is due to her desensitization to death and other unethical issues, it is also due to the overly judgemental, hypocritical, and oppressive Puritan society.
The antagonist of The Crucible is truly the Puritan society in the town of Salem. The Puritans of Salem are self-concerned and judgemental of others to draw attention away from their own misfortune and wrong doings. Reverend Parris is a prime example of one who is more concerned with his own well-being that that of others. He...

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