• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Whilst we are appalled by Abigail Williams, we are fascinated by her as well'. Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Whilst we are appalled by Abigail Williams, we are fascinated by her as well The antagonist Abigail Williams appals and shocks ?The Crucible??s audience with her manner, from the very start already embroiled in opposition of Salem?s common society and its members, remorselessly bringing down anyone that dares to challenge her, with numerous deaths ensuing. Yet despite this, she remains the same character who turns the tables over in regards to their supressing patriarchal society, and against all odds rising from the belittled position of an orphaned woman to one that dares to challenge the theocratic ?weighty judges?, and attempt to break free from the extreme restrictiveness imposed upon females within the society. Abigail initially is presented as a flawed character, and understandably so, as despite her initial outcry that she would ?never hurt Betty?, it is revealed that she is clearly deceptive when Abigail violently ?smashes her across the face? in a fit of fury. It is seen that Abigail does indeed have a clear sense of her moral duties, she becomes obvious that she does understand that her very intentions to kill Elizabeth Proctor are simply outrightly wrong, and yet she decides to ahead with this. She frequently exercises her expert ability to repel any accusations of this towards her, instead often pushing allegations towards the original accuser; the shift of power in speech is constantly turned towards her, and from the very start we already see Parris being struck by Abigail?s refusal to bow to his demands, and eventually reducing him to only murmurs of ?No?no?. ...read more.

Middle

In this way Miller introduces the theme of duality, the two sides of morality within Abigail which presents the audience with a sense of fascination. She is portrayed negatively frequently, notably when she accuses the very person that grants her own wishes, Tituba, as the easiest target, and clearly is ruthless in using other characters for her own benefit; initially she simply wishes for Elizabeth Proctor to be got rid of, and John for herself, while the other girls are simply presented by Miller as relatively weak in comparison to her. This falsification further develops as she realises that this would not be an easy task; she sets herself a precedent to accuse further citizens such as Sarah Good who are on the lower rungs of society, before finally setting her eyes on Elizabeth as the ultimate target, as Proctor confesses to the court that she simply ?thinks to dance with (Proctor) on (Elizabeth?s) grave?, rather than simply playing ?the role of (a) meek serving girl 3?. The audience is able to sympathise with her from the fact that she, similar to audiences? assumed train of thought that her motives are simply based on the fact that Puritanism meant that ?underneath they were all depraved (from) universal human feelings?1. We see that underneath her web of lies and accusations, we cannot help but also feel somewhat sorrowful for her in that she laments herself being orphaned after her parents were ?[smashed]?on ...read more.

Conclusion

kill John Proctor?s wife, transforms the growing tension into an outburst of hysteria followed by accusations, before eventually several are arrested or even hung for their ?crimes?, while she continues to grow in her social standing. On the other hand the audience is also made aware of her background on her becoming an orphan, as well as Parris being an uncaring uncle and parent towards her, and therefore we must feel some sympathy for her in that she lives in a society that is in reality extremely repressive. Despite all of this repression she is able to challenge the status quo regarding the position of women, she realises her own ?pure elements? as Proctor acts as her own ?crucible? in showing her the falsifications of Puritanism; she is the first that finally takes action in raising the position of women, and indeed it is the group of girls as well as Mrs Putnam who make up the bulk of accusations. As the audience, we are also fascinated by her sheer willpower and determination- whilst being remorseless and murderous makes us detest her, it also serves as a testimony to her strength and empowerment, as well as wonder in that she is surprisingly able to succeed in doing so, proving her character to be one of fascination despite disgust. 1 The Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller, Thomas P. Adler 2Feminism and the Crucible, Mitchell Thom 3The Crucible ? commentary by Susan Abbotson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. "A view from the bridge".

    Alfieri can be viewed as the bridge between the largely middle class audience and the working class characters of the play. I believe Alfieri did this as he needed a middle-class character to communicate with the largely middle-class audience. Alfieri can be used to describe to the audience what the not so articulate characters are feeling.

  2. "The Crucible yields a number of scenes which are prime examples of Arthur Millers ...

    Yet, he is also disliked as the fool who always believes the girls acting and acts hysterically when they see the bird. In the first chosen scene, Parris, is the immoral and greedy preacher,he tries to prove that Tituba is guilty thus moving the blame away from him and his friends although even from the beginning he knows the truth.

  1. Act 4 of The Crucible provides a powerfully dramatic conclusion to the play. ...

    honorable intentions and pleads to the High Courts to free his wife. As it draws closer to the morning of John's death, serious discussion about the whereabouts of Abigail Williams takes place. John had committed the sin of adultery with Abigail Williams, his previous servant girl.

  2. Free essay

    "Linda: I don't say he's a great man... He's not the finest character that ...

    I believe that it is pitiful, the fact that Willy's children are ashamed of him. Some, however, may argue that Willy doesn't deserve the dignity that he has because of how he treated his family and his biggest flaw, committing adultery.

  1. The Crucible Analysis

    which means that a person's belief system does not match the actions that the person performs or vice versa. With Abigail, her actions do not match her belief system. Because she is a Puritan, she must own up to her responsibilities and openly confess to her sins, but she does not do so.

  2. Alfieri - A view from the bridge.

    He makes it clear to the audience the differences between the different societies, which are only separated by a bridge. Alfieri plays a dramatic role, warning the audience of upcoming events. His speeches are very significant as he uses quite foreboding language such as "watched it run its bloody course",

  1. Write about the character of Danforth and his exercise of his judicial powers in ...

    He also seems to have a limited perception of human nature and finds it difficult to conceive that the girls are anything other than what they say they are. He is determined to root out witchcraft and does not want to know about anything, which may lead him in a different direction.

  2. What do we learn of Salem and three of its inhabitants in the opening ...

    mistakes; from this we also see his strive to redeem himself as he rebukes Abigail and states coldly ?That?s (his affair) done with?, in tune to the fact that he is seemingly a perfect example of an ideal citizen of the community; he is described as being ?respected and even

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work