Abigail Williams – A Mixture Of Being A Villain And Victim

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In the play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams is a character with a mixture of being a villain and victim. Throughout the play we see her as a liar, very self-centered and ignorant she is also responsible for many deaths in Salem. However, she might be the victim as well and she might have suffered a lot which led her to become a villain.

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The play starts where the readers find out about “witchcraft” in Salem. Abigail Williams was later introduced and was known as someone young and gorgeous but also someone who was seen by Parris to be “dancing in the woods” with other girls performing a ritual. Abigail is worried that her uncle has seen her. In addition after the ritual Parris’ daughter Betty, fainted. Despite this Abigail confesses to her uncle about dancing in the woods. An example of this “we were just dancing.” This suggests a sense to the readers that she is an honest young girl who is ready to take responsibility for her actions. Furthermore Abigail seems to care about Betty as well and tells Parris “Betty’s not witched,” although Parris feels unsure if betty will get better after the doctor said that there’s something suspicious going on. From this we can understand that both of the characters are terrified that news will spread and more consequences will come along as the people of Salem would perhaps takes in into serious matters.

On the other hand we start to noticed Abigail’s honest and caring behavior changes, as the people of Salem starts to question there’s something unnatural going on, Abigail gets scared and blames it on Tituba (Parris’s slave), from Barbados who practices what the Puritans viewed as “black magic.” The sentence ‘She made me do it. She made Betty do it.’ And “drink blood.” Suggests that Abigail no longer wants to take responsibility for her actions like before and accuses Tituba for performing the ritual. Abigail manages to convince everyone that Tituba was the one to blame and people did because of Tituba’s race, Abigail later even goes further and says “whipped you to death, Tituba!” This makes the readers reconsider their thoughts on Abigail. From this, we can understand that she is a villain.

Abigail’s actions are also due to her views on her parent’s death right before her eyes and the society she has grown up in. An example of this, ‘I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ head on the pillow next to mine and I have seen some reddish work at night.” This shows the reader that Abigail has lived a tough life and her past experiences made her who she is today. To make matters worse, John Procter took advantage of her innocence and gave her hope for love. For example, Abigail says ‘Do you tell me you’ve never looked up at my window?’ Proctor then responds, ‘I may have looked up.’ and ‘Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time.’ This clear example shows that Abigail is being a victim because Proctor keeps giving her more hope that he still loves her. Moreover Proctor is to be blamed in this case by giving her the hope of love, which Abigail craves after the death of her parents. In my opinion I think that because Abigail lost her parents at such a young age she wanted to be loved by someone, to be cared for and get warmth from them, she couldnt expect this from her uncle because he made her feel worthless so when Proctor ‘took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart,’ Abigail found the love she wanted for her whole life. She needed to look up to someone as a young girl and then this male figure came who I supposed seemed more like a father figure at first and then slowly became more of a love interest. To sum up Abigail went throughout a lot of rough paths and John Proctor committed a sin and gave Abigail hope. This reminds the reader that Abigail may have been a victim all along. At last John Proctor sacrifice his reputation than to put harm on others, including his wife. “What man would cast away his good name,” he confesses the truth about his lustful affairs with Abigail and proves that he no longer want anything to do with Abigail.

To conclude, Abigail Williams is a villain who was lustful for John Proctor, which brings out her manipulative strength and lying abilities. Abigail did go through a lot of rough paths however she could’ve become a better person but no she didn’t, she continued to not be a better person which led many innocents in harm and eventually deaths. 

16 August 2021

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