In the book, “The Crucible” we meet many characters but one in specific creates and stirs the pot of all the drama in the town of Salem in the year of 1692 to 1693. This woman accused more than 100 people in the town of Salem of witchcraft which lead them to their deaths. She is Abigail Williams. Abigail not only accused adults but she also accused young children and elders of the town as well. “Abigail’s accusations continued and included complaints against Martha Cory, George Burroughs, Bridget Bishop, Elizabeth and John Proctor, Mary Easty, John Willard, Mary Witheridge, and Rebecca Nurse. Overall Abigail Williams made 41 legal complaints and gave formal testimony in seven cases. Bernard Rosenthal estimates she was involved in at least 17 capital cases.” (UV, para. 5) She manipulated the judges and leaders of the town to really get them to see how even doing little things led them to their death due to Abigail accusing them off of nothing.
On January 22, 1953 the play, “The Crucible”, came out. The play was written by Arthur Miller. He based it off the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials were between 1692 and 1693. Even though this was a play the characters in the play were real people back in 1692. Other than Abigail Williams there was John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor (his wife), Reverend John Hale, Reverend Samuel Parris, and etc. In the play it is mostly based on the actions of Abigail due to her mainly causing the many accusations of the trials. It all started when the younger girls of the town and Tituba (a slave at the time) were seen by the father of Betty Parris who was a Reverend of the town. He had seen them in the woods around a fire acting crazy and Tituba the slave saying unrecognizable words. But the real reason why they were in the woods was because Abigail was trying to potentially cast a spell on Elizabeth Proctor to end her life because Abigail was having an affair with John Proctor. When the rumors of the girls practicing witchcraft in the woods it became a really big issue due to the town of Salem being heavily devoted into religion. The Reverend worried that something like this would ruin his reputation in the church. But by then the rumors of the girls practicing witchcraft were already all over town. Abigail then goes into defense mode and sends Tituba under the bus for the cause of all the evil and witchcraft in the town. But after Abigail then proceeds to play the victim that she is under witchcraft as well the other girls that were dancing in the woods with her henceforth starting the accusations of the infamous Salem Witch trials.
Furthermore, as the story develops religion and the lies become the circle of it all. Of course during that time in 1692 religion was in control of everything in the town. The church was the ruler of the town so whatever the church said it happening, and messing with witchcraft was the devil’s work and clearly breaking the church’s strict laws. “As a devout and strongly religious community living in near isolation in the mysterious New World, the community of Salem had a heightened sense of fear of the Devil and, as a result, it didn’t take much to convince the villagers that there was evil among them.” (Brooks, para. 7) We can see from the beginning that with the first monster theses we see how Abigail expresses certain emotions at certain times. In the church in front of the town she acts as a victim, and uses fear to show how scared she is of the witchcraft she really show how much of a victim she is or to show how the person she is accusing is causing the girls to act like they are under the spells of witchcraft. Abigail represents herself as an innocent young girl who is under the witchcraft and can’t control the “spell” that she is under.
For the second theses Abigail ends up running away to Boston by the end of play due to eventually everyone figuring out that her accusations were not even real. After all the damage she has caused in the town and with her not having any family at all and not even ending up with John Proctor at the end of it all. But all in all she really leaves to avoid the possible retribution from the church that she would of gotten from her crimes of accusing. On the other hand Abigail seems to always be there at the time of when the church is interrogating another person from the town to figure out whether the accusations of the person practicing witchcraft are true. But while she is there she stirs up the pot by acting out and making sure the person truly has witchcraft. Like I said, she is always there in the time of crisis of when there is a chance that her accusations could be wrong which relates to the third theses of being there in a time of crisis, and causing more problems then there already is.
In addition, for the fourth theses she does sit at the gates of difference. When her parents die she was left in the care of her uncle Reverend Parris. She has always felt like a outcast because technically she is an outcast. With her parents gone she was placed in a home that’s not hers and with a side of her family she doesn’t know that well. In the media people also see her as the main accuser and as the person who really spurred the trial forward. They saw her as the grand master of the trials due to her accusing everyone. People in town simply gossiping or looking the wrong ways at things were considered as practicing witchcraft. Moreover for theses number five Abigail stands at the border between getting caught and still being free. Even though she was seen in the forest clearly practicing witchcraft and uses her skills to manipulate and lie her way out of it for long time before she ditches Salem.
Furthermore, as for the fifth theses Abigail rules the town basically. She finds way to incriminate anyone and with her followers they follow along so that they don’t get killed in the process. She acts out so that the judges and leaders of the church have to listen to her because she is the clear evidence that the accused is doing witchcraft. Without her acting out then the leaders of the church would of hung her by the neck a long time ago. In addition, Abigail becomes feared by all throughout the town due to her accusations and through it all John Proctor always came back to her. Whether it was the fear he loved when seeing her it didn’t end well because he was stoned in the end due to Abigail accusing him in the end which connects to theses six about how John Proctor really desired the fear even though she caused all the drama in his life even into his death. Finally, with the final theses number seven the Abigail’s sad life created the person she was. She was an orphan who was sent to live with her uncle and cousins and probably had thought that she was cursed by God due to what she had been through. She never felt like Salem was her home causing her to think she was an outcast which could of fueled her to make the mess of the Salem trials.
Staffaroni, Laura. “Best Abigail Williams Anaylsis – The Crucible.” Prep Scholar, 17 June 2016, 4:00, https://blog.prepscholar.com/the-crucible-abigail-williams-analysis
Bradford, Wade. “Get to Know Abigail Williams, from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.” ThoughtCo, 5 Sept.2017, https://www.thoughtco.com/crucible-character-study-abigail-williams-2713464
Brooks, Rebecca Beatrice. “Abigail Williams: The Mysterious Afflicted Girl.” History of Massachusetts, 6 Oct. 2015, historyofmassachusetts.org/abigail-williams-salem/.
“Abigail Williams.” Salem Witch Trials Notable Persons, The University of Virginia , salem.lib.virginia.edu/people?group.num=&mbio.num=mb33.
Lewis, Jone Johnson. “All About Abigail Williams, One of the First Accused as a Salem Witch.” ThoughtCo, 27 Feb. 2018, http://www.thoughtco.com/abigail-williams-biography-3530316.