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Arthur Miller states that Abigail Williams is the prime mover in the Salem hysteria. Discuss her importance, both as a character, and in terms of dramatic fusion on stage

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Arthur miller states that Abigail Williams is "the prime mover in the Salem hysteria". Discuss her importance, both as a character, and in terms of dramatic fusion on stage The author Arthur Miller wrote 'The crucible' in the 1950's, during which, a government party carried out a series of trials called the McCarthy trials challenging communism. Using the Salem witch trials as paradox to the author's modern day McCarthyism and similarly the impossible task of man to balance order with freedom; he made this vital link to open minds to a dysfunctional and unjust system and the reality of the corrupt government. Arthur Miller was later convicted of contempt of Congress after the play was published. 'The Crucible' is based on the Puritans' lifestyles of 1692 Salem Massachusetts and, the then current affairs affecting their community; all ultimately causing the Salem hysteria and, both the witch hunts and trials that followed. Although many characters in the play stoked the fire that spread to the Salem hysteria and, consequently the death of many, there was one person who was the trigger, one character whose deviousness remained undetected for so long, a complex character whom determines the tragic fate of innocent people while her actions themselves at first are glorified. Throughout this essay diverse key characters are explored, however Abigail William, conversely not the main character, is the most significant to Salaam hysteria. Furthermore she brings about both the downfall and death of the main charter John Procter, making her his hamartia and of fundamental importance to the outcome of the crucible. The relationship between Reverend Parris, a man of the church and grate importance, and Abigail his niece are key to the hysterias; there relationship is a constant dynamic that encourages Abigail's perceived necessity to deceive both her uncle, the rest of the court and the majority of Salem. There are quotes that shows this an example of one is 'Now give me an upright answer. ...read more.


this show that even when the truth is shown she is so stubborn that she will deny it until she is blue in face, even when she is about to be proved wrong she stands her ground as she cannot handle anyone challenging her self authority like a child having a temper tantrum. Abigail is determined in her will to acquire john Procter so much so she comes across as spoilt and stubborn. This is shown in the quote 'you love me John Procter an what ever sin it is you love me yet' This childlike character trait is very important as her stubborn and irrational ideas are what drive her to continue accusing witches. Abigail's sharp mind helps her convincing overpower the people around her. The other girls look up to Abby, she is always sure in herself 'insert quote' this makes them idolize her and consequently this prompts the girls do what she wants, an example of this is said by one of the girls Marry Warren 'what'll we do? The whole country's talking witchcraft! They'll be calling us witches Abby' this show that they confide an trust her, she uses Abigail informal name 'Abby' this suggest she sees Abigail as a friend, this is supported as they turn to her for advice as she seems more mature, but her scheming mind uses this admiration to force them to do as she demands. Her controlling nature is also apparent in the quote 'Betty? Now Betty dear wake up now. It's Abigail. I'll beat you Betty! ...My you seem to be improving' she's uses a rage of different devices to suit the target audience, in this case Betty is a small child, and so she play's on her dependence on Abigail, by instilling fear this is done through using changes in approach such as variations of tone at first gentle then angry and then comforting, she even resorts to threats till she gets her to talk, she takes the audience through emotional ride with unexpected twists this makes her good not just as a fascinating character but as a device on stage. ...read more.


She sees a shinny object. She want shinny object; despite the fact this shinny object is a knife that will destroy and kill all those around her. She sees john Procter. She wants John Procter; she kills many, only to watch him hang too. Arthur miller wrote 'the Crucible' as a Tragedy this adds to the drama created by the charters as we know they are destined for a tragic and untimely end, but just like Romeo and Juliet you still don't see the obvious disasters destined to occur and as a reader we hope that good wills out however this is not the case. Abigail was vital to the play, the author's creation of Abigail as a dramatic device in my opinion was very effective, she kindled the flames by invoking fear of hanging where the innocent are not safe, where the children decided who lives and who does not and throughout the play her and the conflicts she created kept up the pace. Finally and most importantly Abigail as a 'prime mover' Abigail was not all the wrong she merely highlighted the injustice and everything that was immoral she was a victim of the corrupt higher authority the realization of this made me as a reader feel empathy and understanding for all those effected as Abigail was not the problem. It was the people that allowed her to do such things and ultimately it was the high courts and slimily the government on whom the blame should fall. Arthur millers purpose for the play; to open minds to a dysfunctional and unjust system and the reality of the corrupt government that was only to be expected; as we people have has great flaws the author says, "we have limited possibilities without repression of some sort" but he says this so we do not just except the problem one who sees a problem and stays silent is then part of the problem, instead we must anticipate and question so we do not follow blindly as, there will always be faults in what ever system we have created. By Charlie tring ...read more.

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