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Explore Abigail's Power over the other Characters. Examine her words, actions and context of social/ historical character?

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Explore Abigail's Power over the other Characters. Examine her words, actions and context of social/ historical character? Arthur Miller was a playwright who dealt with many issues and themes. His play 'The Crucible' involves a comparison with McCarthyism in the form of the Salem Witch Trials. McCarthyism came about when a politician named Joseph McCarthy tried to cover up his views of an anticommunist policy by using scapegoats. In this play, a girl named Abigail accused almost the whole town of witchcraft. This happened because in her own cunning way she turned the accusation against her, which was created when some girls in the town become ill while conjuring spirits, and used a scapegoat to avoid being hanged. Abigail was the leading figure in both Miller's play and real life. Her role in the community was the niece of the village reverend. She appears to be deep and dark minded but intelligent girl who with her age has the power of innocence. Abigail is the leader of this movement as the public hung on to her every word and believed everything she and the rest of the girls say. She knows that she has power and is not afraid of using it to satisfy her needs. The rest of the towns-people see her as a saviour coming from the Devil to rid the world of the witches. ...read more.


That is all'. She says this to scare the girls and to make sure that the girls do not tell anyone that they are lying. This shows that Abigail only looks after herself and she is self centred. Abigail also loves to be the centre of attention, 'I want to open myself! I want the light of God; I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil: I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!' In saying this Abigail starts blaming people from the community. Her control over the girls in the Town is dominant and forcible. She bullies them with vicious, threatening words. Her motives are hard to see when you study the different aspects of her character. You may see a girl who has been psychologically damaged through trauma and distress. Others may detect an evil trait in Abigail. Usually in the hierarchy of children, age tends to outweigh anything else. Abigail is clearly in command of the girls as they follow her actions and moves. I think Abigail enlists all these girls to do her work. If anything becomes too suspicious, she shifts the blame to one of the other girls, as she knows that the others will not speak up. ...read more.


They are now beyond accusation or danger and happy to call names out. Betty is following Abigail, but Abigail has no need to continue as she has already said Elizabeth's name. The other names of people, she has no involvement with and most importantly, people who bear no importance in Salem and are vulnerable to prosecution. It is a fiendish scene, as if the girls are possessed by evil. They are not however and that leaves only one reason, that Abigail is wreaking her specific revenge for her parents deaths. It is one of her more evil actions in the play, as it cannot be accounted for. This shows that she does not hate and have power over people she wants revenge for, but everyone of human society. In my opinion, she is a disturbed character. She is initially perceived as being wild bright and proud. Her character then develops a ghastly quality that becomes a large influence over everybody in the village of Salem. She abuses this ability to turn things to her advantage and others fate. She develops an evil insensitive, which would seem to be her character, however occasionally she shows different emotions in moments of intense passion and fear. Abigail is the hidden secret of the play. She covers behind her sweet little girl innocence and manipulates it between the characters, which brings up many truths from the past. Her quest however, soon becomes an addiction as she has people killed and blames anyone to get back John Proctor. ...read more.

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