The plot of Arthur Miller`s play The Crucible unfolds on the events of the Salem witch hunt. This repression gives everyone the opportunity to shield themselves by accusing a neighbor or acquaintance of witchcraft. Old disputes, suspicions, envy breakthrough and become masked by moral categories.
The protagonist is Abigail Williams, who, for achieving her selfish goals, shows vile traits against mercy prescribed by the Bible. Sly, treacherous woman, lover of John Proctor in the past, accuses numerous inhabitants in satanism, including John`s wife. Abigail hopes that after people being executed, she will manage to marry him.
Jealousy and lust push her to desperate deeds. Betty confirms that Abby drank blood to kill John Proctor’s wife. Revealing facts provoke Abigail to lie and blame other people in order to hide her own unseemly actions.Hypocrisy and the ability to transform, allows her to avoid punishment. She blames the slave Tituba, that she forced her to drink blood. However, Tituba’s rivals have no weight and she mistakenly accuses other people of witchcraft.
Abigail takes the opportunity to divert attention from the disclosure of her affair and successfully imitates the divine insight. In an effort to justify herself, Abigail lies and panders without thinking about the cruel consequences for other people. Abigail Williams skillfully manipulates people. In the case of people involved in the ritual, she threatens them. If one of them utters a word, she will come on a dark night, and then beware cause she’ll settle with them.
In a conversation with John Proctor, Abigail appeals to his former feelings at the same time, complaining about his wife in the fact that Elizabeth’s cold, whining woman blackens her name. She demands, threatens and frightens the people around her to get what she wants. Her egoism requires the confirmation of own power over the situation.
A poor orphan, forced to work as a servant, determines her in the lower layers of the social ladder. After the murder of her parents by the Indians, she confesses that she is not afraid and ready to do whatever it takes. The feeling of power over her peers and slaves gives her confidence in controlling the situation.
Impunity and trust in her words in the court feeds on selfishness and authority. Exceptional cruelty causes dozens of deaths and allows her without a twinge of conscience leave the half-dead Salem.
Arthur Miller presents Abigail Williams as a character who has an unlimited ability to hypocrite and “reincarnate”. This character is an antagonist. From the first scene, she acts as the moving element of the plot. Pursuing selfish goals, Abigail provokes rumors, squabbles and strife. It forces people to act and reveal themselves as characters and to manifest their personal qualities.
However, in the end, she leaves the ruins and crippled lives of other people. In the end, Abigail gets the most authority and avoids the adverse consequences. Abigail clearly manifests her features and this is favored by more influential and secretive rulers to raise themselves above other people in the interests of personal gain.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. New York: Penguin Books, 2016 http://www.worldcat.org/title/crucible-a-play-in-four-acts/oclc/933567902?referer=di&ht=edition Accessed 19 Jun. 2018.
The Crucible. Wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crucible Accessed 19 Jun. 2018.