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The Crucible - Abigail

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English Coursework The character I would find most interesting to play The character who I would find the most interesting to play in 'The Crucible' is Abigail. There are many ways in which Miller has made her an interesting and complex character to act as, including her change in power over the stage, her role as a cruel and merciless character, the fact you can relate her to a real historical figure and the audience's ability to see a slightly softer side to her at some points in the play and question their opinions of her. The first way in which Miller makes Abigail an interesting character to play is the way in which her control over the stage and the audience changes throughout the play. There are times when she shown as a very strong and manipulative character and has great presence, for example in the yellow bird scene where she leads all the other girls in preventing Mary Warren from telling the truth. The words are full of malice, for example when she first mentions Mary's name and says "Envy is a deadly sin Mary." Even though she has been lying and sinning throughout the play, the uses of the words 'deadly' and 'sin' show us that she is very good at manipulating the situation to her advantage by planting these malicious words into people's heads. ...read more.


Some may suggest that this is just a ploy which Abigail uses to get her way, but I believe that it would make a more interesting performance if it was played for sympathy rather than malice. Another way in which I believe Miller has made Abigail an interesting character is by using her as a character representing real people who really did things like this to each other and takes events and views from that past to build up a frightening picture of how things were during the time of McCarthyism. This would make her interesting to play as you could think about the real motivations behind why they would turn on so many people in their village and even condemn people to death. I think the way in which she suddenly admits to witchery, something she has been denying and condemning; to save herself is very similar to how people would admit to being Communists in order to save themselves from the harshest punishments. She shouts out that she wants to "open [herself]" as soon as she sees those who do so and 'convert' are treated with mercy and kindliness. Miller has probably used this to make the audience unconsciously think about how quickly you can lie if you know it will make things easier for you. ...read more.


This scene is also meant to show her power, as Betty senses this and joins in with the attack to make it even stronger. For this scene I believe Abigail should really be holding the stage, gaining in power right until the end. Finally, this scene is to reinforce the audience's knowledge of Abigail's astonishing acting skills. Having already discovered her 'skill for dissembling' earlier on in the play, they will probably already be relatively suspicious of anything that she does and therefore will be prepared for the fact that it is a lie when they hear the others' side of the story later on. They will find out that it was Mary Warren who made the poppet and will therefore be assured that Abby must have done this to herself, which not only shows what she is willing to do to get someone into trouble but also shows us that she must be a very good actress to get everyone to believe that what seemed to have happened really did happen. Taken as a whole, this scene is meant to let us see more of the malicious and scheming side of Abigail, which balanced with the softer and more scared side of her seen elsewhere in the book gives her more depth than just a plainly black and evil villain. ...read more.

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