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

Miller sets out in The Crucible to create a totally unsympathetic character in Abigail. To what extent does this help to make the play an effective tragedy?

Extracts from this document...


Miller sets out in The Crucible to create a totally unsympathetic character in Abigail. To what extent does this help to make the play an effective tragedy? Aristotle's definition of a tragedy suggests that the antagonist is nothing more but a literary tool, a catalyst used by the author to shape the story and bring about the downfall of the fateful protagonist. It could be argued that Abigail is a 2 dimensional character; she is motivated by her desire for John Procter and hatred for his wife and there is little more in her personality but lust little more in her personality but lust and evil. However, in the play Miller continuously suggests there is more to her. In this essay I will be discussing how convincing Abigail is as an unsympathetic character and how effective she is as the antagonist of the play. The character of Abigail Williams can be seen as having unconvincing levels of evil. She is unrealistic and Miller finds little humanity within her. Of all the character's she could be seen as the least complex as at least on a shallow level all her actions can be seen as nothing more than evil and she is predictable in her selfishness. Therefore, Abigail can be seen as an effective antagonist as there is little more to her then her desire for John Procter and her motivation, as she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. ...read more.


She is an orphan, and has seen her "parents heads smashed" on the pillow next to hers, an experience likely to disturb anyone. She doesn't seem to trust her friends, they are more like minions who do her bidding out of fear. Therefore, the only person she truly felt she could trust was John Procter, who betrays her. "That's done with" Furthermore. I find it possible to have the same amount of sympathy with Abigail Williams as the protagonist, John Proctor. There is a strong theme of betrayal an abuse of trust: he was her employer and he has sex with her, he abuses his wife's trust and he lastly betrays her trust in refusing to continue their romantic affair. Abigail is continuously represented as a silly teenager, both in her need to rebel and her jealous, obsessive crush on John Procter, therefore, despite her actions she is vulnerable and alone, with no trusting relationship or role model. According to Aristotle, the antagonist opposes the protagonist, however Abigail desires the antagonist "I know you". Despite their conflict, John Procter and Abigail have many similarities in their aims. Both of them want something more than the Puritan society can offer them, John Procter is dissatisfied with the church and his home life, and Abigail seeks freedom and a trusting relationship. ...read more.


me John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet" -predictable in her selfishness -spite Offers to be whipped, shows she does not care for herself, self deprivating In conversation Mary Warren pleads with Abigail to "tell the truth" and that she'll "only be whipped for dancin', and the "dare not call out such a farmer's wife but there be monstrous profit in it. " In this case, during the late 1600's women were defined by the success of their marriage, the obedience of their children, and the cleanliness and extent of their home. Abby does not apply to this The salem witch trials could be said to be a pivotal point in the puritan society, respect for women -he is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me!" Elizabeth is calling her a hoe, lowering her status even more -acts superior, has a endless capacity for dismembering, how much of her front is a lie? She seems terrified underneath -antagonist, someone who opposes the protagonist. Abby desires the protagonist Miller must want her to have some character, due to including her history, contrast to mercy lewis, a one sided, evil character Good job as an antagonist, shapes course of the play, brings protagonist to death Similarities in john and abby...if told from abbys view could john be antagonist Is john right? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Miscellaneous 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 AS and A Level Miscellaneous essays

  1. In this report I will focus on myself and recognise how my learning can ...

    I prefer to study alone, so I can concentrate on my work, however, in the lectures I like to work with other students as they help me with my learning. When I organise my work I set time schedules for myself and use a year planner to mark all the

  2. Customer experience management in UK higher education

    It is suggested that satisfaction is the feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from the comparison of expected product performance against expectations of a person. In turn, feel that if performance lives up to expectations, the buyer is satisfied, it is exceeding expectations is charmed.

  1. Media in society

    Ultimately, the broadsheet gives the heading; "four die as gales batter Britain," again with pictures but only 3 pictures depicting similar scenes, but again with a tone and colour that stay true through the rest of the articles.

  2. factors influencing conformity and obedience

    Many people would of thought, who could carry out such atrocities? But research Princeton University in America shows that in fact anyone is capable of such acts if they are in a scenario that would encourage this. In an issue in the 26th issue of "Science" magazine Professor Susan Fiske

  1. What evidence is there that children(TM)s development is influenced by play with siblings and ...

    He suggests that by collaborating with a more knowledgeable other, the less experienced child can learn ways to achieve tasks which they may not have been able to complete alone. This is further emphasised in studies by Brownell & Carriger (1999)

  2. Communication in todays society

    The result is not only a lack of genuine communication between members of the workforce, but can be devastating to the organization in the long run. It causes confusion, at best it will lead to the stifling of ideas and creativity, at worst it can lead to passive resistance and sabotage, and leads to plan failing.

  1. "Why has there been a substantial increase in the adopted population of children born ...

    This was contrasted to the 222 that were recorded 10 years earlier. However, in the time period of 2003 and 2004 only 132 local adoptions were recorded.6 It is believed that the main influence on these numbers had been a substantial increase in the number of adoptions from China.

  2. What is Love?

    a practical way, rather than giving me some hope of identifying some clue as to what love actually is. Sternberg has merely (although, not at all uselessly) given us some more words to use in discussions of 'love', within the fairly limited scope of person-to-person relationships.

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