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"Abigail Williams has an endless capacity for dissembling." Explore the dramatic impact her character has upon the audience of the play.

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Introduction

"Abigail Williams has an endless capacity for dissembling." Explore the dramatic impact her character has upon the audience of the play. 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 girl, an orphan...", already the audience is made to feel sorry for her as we find out that she has no parents. Also, because we are told she is full of "apprehension and worry," leads us to like her because she appears genuinely concerned for the well-being of her cousin. Already, before she has even begun to speak, we have an opinion of Abigail, we are attracted to her by her actions and because of her distressing background we feel sympathy for her. Soon, we find out Abigail and Betty were discovered dancing in the forest by Parris, which is an action linked to witchcraft. This could be an indication that Abigail is not what at first she might seem, although the dancing could have been harmless. Abigail seems to be innocent when she replies to Parris' question with, "uncle, we did dance....ill be whipped if I must be." She realises she has done wrong and is prepared to be punished, the audience still believe she is harmless at this stage. ...read more.

Middle

This makes Tituba more vulnerable, and Abigail recognises this so aptly turns the blame on to her in order to protect her own innocence. As soon as the adults question her, "did you call the devil last night?" she pounces on Tituba. "I never called him! Tituba, Tituba!" She is quick to defend herself and would rather somebody else take the blame rather than herself. We feel sorry for Tituba because at this stage we know what the character of Abigail Williams is like, and the affect this character can have on those around her. She is always blaming someone else. Tituba is bullied into making a confession of witchcraft and dealing with the Devil, because she knows that if she doesn't take responsibility for the dancing in the woods, she will lose her life. On the other hand, if she accepts responsibility for the girl's actions, then she will be allowed to live. At first she denies the allegations, "I don't truck with no Devil...I don't compact with no Devil" but soon realises Abigail is much more crafty than herself, and has the power to make Hale believe whatever she says. It is obvious Abigail is not going to give up until she is off the hook, so Tituba succumbs, "I tell him I don't desire to work for him...". As soon as Tituba confesses, Abigail has no problem in offering other accusations and admits to being forced to dancing with the Devil in the forest. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unfortunately this presents John Proctor as the wrong doer and vindicates Abigail's case. The final Act shows the damage that has been done to the people of Salem as a result of the witchcraft trials and accusations. Abigail and Mercy run away, a suggestion that they recognise their wrong doings, and the negative affect they have had on others. Many innocent people are hanged, and it is not until many are dead that the remaining people of Salem realise that they need to change their ways. The play, "The Crucible" is an effective way of showing the hysteria linked to witchcraft around 1692. Miller also wrote the play as a way of making his political comment through the events in Salem. In his opinion, witchcraft was wrong in Salem and communism was wrong in America, this was going on around the time when Miller wrote the play, in 1950. Sociology is an important theme throughout the play. Abigail is almost a hypocrite, she has so many different sides to her character. She has the ability to control, overrule and manipulate, and as an audience we can see throughout the play she is constantly showing her ability to dissemble, to get into the minds of those around her, and influence their actions. Miller has been successful in creating a character that has the power to deceive everyone, and her domineering nature is portrayed continually throughout the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Becci Loughran 10D English Coursework The Crucible ...read more.

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