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The Crucible - What is the importance of Abigail in the progress of the Play?

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THE CRUCIBLE What is the importance of Abigail in the progress of the Play? Abigail is a very powerful character in "The Crucible". She shows that she has authoritative by being very dominating towards the girls and Mary Warren. She can also manipulate people and situations and turn them around, like she did when Mr. Hale spoke to her for the first time, she felt under pressure and blamed it all on Tituba. "She made me do it! She made Betty do it!" Abigail is a very meddling character. She created the witchcraft frenzy in Salem which this mirrors the Mc Carthy incident. Where Salem becomes a vicious spiral of lies and deceit. The Mc Carthy Incident and the Witchcraft trials in Salem were similar events because the committee wanted the witnesses to name names even though they already had lists of peoples names at various meetings. This is linked with the witchcraft trials because Judge Danforth and Judge Hathorne wanted people to confess and name people who were present with them. Telling tales is very childish behaviour but the judges took it very seriously. Although Abigail is only a child she can manipulate, a lot of people especially Mary Warren and the girls all accuse innocent people of Witchcraft. In act one Mary wanted to tell the truth and was scared that they will be called witches. ...read more.


But only Proctor knew the real truth about Abigail. Paris, was the uncle of the protagonist of the play, was blind to his niece's actions, and never knew her as well as Proctor. This was because Proctor knew that Abigail was not a virgin, and in the 1600's sex before married was against their religion. It was considered a great sin and not tolerated. It shows that Abigail was not as innocent as everyone thought she was. Arthur Miller had to change Abigail's age from twelve to seventeen, because it is illegal for a girl to have sex before the age of sixteen. This would make the character more believable and Arthur Miller thought his audience simply would not believe that a child of her real age would behave in the way she does. However, at that time lives were shorter so people got married earlier. Abigail had a huge passion for John Proctor. She wanted to have him for herself and in the woods, she drank a charm that was meant to kill Goody Proctor that was so Abigail could then be his wife. In "The Crucible" Abigail convinces many people that what she had claimed had happened was true but she does not convince Mr. Hale. He even quit the proceedings because of his believes and he believed that proctor was innocent to witchcraft and that Abigail and the girls were pretending and lying. ...read more.


Procter as being a witch so she could have the authority over John Procter She controls how the play progresses by influence over people and events. She had a massive influence over Mary. Foe example in Act 3 when Mary finally gives up trying to prove that Abigail and the rest of the girls were frauds. Mary: (pointing at Proctor) "You're the devil's man!" When Abigail left with her uncle's money to aboard a ship, the witchcraft frenzy calmed down and eventually left Salem. When Abigail left there was no leader to make up the stories. This proves that there were no witches in Salem at all, and I think it was a confused child trying to get herself out of trouble, but by doing it the wrong way. I would go as far to say that not only is Abigail very significant to the progress of the play. The play is about her character and how one disturbed, frightened, but manipulative character can wreak such devastation in one place. Abigail created the witchcraft frenzy in Salem and was essential for the Crucible to be such a hit. She had to make things up immediately if she felt something was mistaken or went wrong to make the judges believe what she was saying. She was a much-hated character and created a hostile environment. Abigail progressed the play along. The play would have been slow and boring if Abigail was not in it. ...read more.

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