• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What do you find interesting about the way Miller presents the character of Abigail in act 1 of the crucible?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What do you find interesting about the way Miller presents the character of Abigail in act 1 of the crucible? What I find interesting about Abigail is the power of her conviction; she is after all only seventeen. Whilst all the time knowing she is a fraud. As an audience we are aware of everything that goes on in the play. We see the lengths that Abigail is prepared to go to in order to protect herself. She is prepared to sacrifice the lives of those around her in order to ensure that her own position is not marred. We learn that Abigail is an orphan, which allows Miller to create an opening through which he can draw upon sympathies from the audience. Before Abigail even speaks Miller has created a character with a very appealing set of attributes. She is strikingly beautiful which gives her the ability to ensnare any man as John Proctor finds out. We know from the text that he has fallen victim to Abigail's deadly charm before, and is still tempted by her even now, "I'll cut off my hand before I ever reach for you again". She is young only seventeen so she has all the ways of a woman and yet maintains the vulnerability of a child. This alone is a deadly combination as she can control how your response by playing upon each of these attributes to her advantage. ...read more.

Middle

Until Abigail gets angry with Parris doubting that, "Her name is not entirely white amongst the village" she responds in a temper, "My name is good in the village!" it is obviously important therefore, for Abigail to have an untarnished name in the village. So when Mary warren threatens to tell the village that they were dancing in the forest, Abigail forces it upon Mary that it will not be taken lightly by the village. Abigail continually enforces the fact that the punishment will be collective, and not received individually. Mary obviously played a lesser part in the activities in the forest than Abigail did. Mary says to Abigail "you'll be whipped" Mary understandably could get away with a much lesser punishment. However, the dominant and persuasive Abigail denies Mary the thought of confessing when she says, "We'll be whipped." With emphasis on the "we". Miller does this, as it is a good way for him to express Abigail's ascendancy over the other characters. Mercy then "moves menacingly toward Mary" this in light of Abigail's actions makes her seem less vindictive as Mercy assumes the role of bully. However I think that it is Abigail who is the real bully toward Mary as she forces her to suffer using psychological means rather than physical means. She lies to Mary saying that she'll be punished just as harshly as all the others when all Mary did was look. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason, I believe, that Miller is showing all these different aspects of Abigail's character is to dispel any doubt in the audiences mind that she appears as she seems. We know that Abigail has succeeded in convincing Reverend Hale (or more likely given him an excuse to accuse Tituba) that it was in fact Tituba who drank blood and forced the others to drink blood because Hale says to Tituba, "when did you compact with the devil?" not even giving her the option to argue that it wasn't her. Whilst all the time we know that it was Abigail who drank blood and forced the others to drink blood as well because Tituba says, "you beg me to conjure! She beg me to drink blood!" as an audience we don't for a second doubt Tituba's words, we believe her to be telling the truth. In the final "crescendo" of the scene where Abigail and Betty both report about seeing the devil it is difficult to see whether Abigail is genuine about wanting to free herself from sin or if she is just acting to make herself seem less guilty and more worthy of sympathy. Her and Betty's accusations free themselves from most of the speculation but not all of it. During this crescendo we see the most interesting aspect of Abigail's character. We can never really be sure if she is genuine or if she is appearing to be genuine. Therefore we may never really see Abigail as such. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Arthur Miller essays

  1. Caplan is a theatre critic. She argued that "The Crucible" is sexist in its ...

    He does not confess to the court he confesses to God, alone which should be enough if Danforth genuinely wants to save his soul. But that is not what Danforth wants he wants to parade the power of theocracy around the village by having John give the piece of paper that he has signed to the court.

  2. Critically discuss Michel Foucault's concept of knowledge/power with reference to Arthur Miller's film "The ...

    However, Foucault justifies himself explaining that he "tries to explore scientific discourse not from the point of view of the formal structures of what they are saying, but from the point of view of the rules that come into play in the very existence of such discourse" (Spier: 1983, p.166).

  1. Do we have the ability to control our destiny - Death of Salesman.

    At his funeral, we see that Willy died a forgotten man because no one except his family came. Character Analysis Willy Lowman The main conflict in Death of a Salesman deals with the confusion and frustration of Willy Lowman. These feelings are caused by his inability to face the realities of modern society.

  2. HOW WELL DOES A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE FIT INTO THE TRAGEDY GENRE?

    Eddie, they probably thought it would be better not to talk to Eddie, as it might affect them. This would hurt Eddie knowing what the community thought of him, that's why he was demanding respect and would not back down and I believe this motivated him a lot knowing he

  1. The Significance of a Line From Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

    I would be stiff when I woke, aching as if I had played four hours of football or tennis and now had to face the start of another game. It would take some six more weeks to complete Act II...

  2. Eddie brings about his own downfall. Discuss this statement with close reference to the ...

    Eddie seemed to be shocked by what Alfieri was saying and showed anger in his voice. After he had been to Alfieri, he went straight to a phone booth to report Marco and Rodolfo as he knows there is no other way of breaking up Catherine and Rodolfo.

  1. Examine how Arthur Miller creates a sense of dramatic tension in the final scene

    The patronising machismo in Eddie's words is full of wanton respect and desire to overshadow shadow Rodolfo in manly strength, knowledge and humorous wit. His comments are self seeking, and when Rodolfo mildly and unknowingly corrects him on a trivial matter, Eddie fires up; '(resenting his Instruction)'

  2. Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller

    In the flashback's Willy mocks Bernard because he studies hard while his sons are popular in High School. Bernard is still wanting be in good terms with Biff and Happy especially as he regards Biff as his hero. When Willy talks to Bernard in soon becomes very clear how successful

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work