Abigail Williams In The Crucible

Good Essays
Obsession, Love?

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play which contains a multitude of complex characters . In the play, the characters’ motivations and inner processes are explored. Because of the historical setting, the characters live in a society of judgement and extreme religious devotion. This is a factor that places any of the characters’ choices and morals in a public balance to be judged by others. Abigail Williams is the main character of the play and acts with an utter selfishness and obsession.

Abigail Williams is the catalyst to the witch hunt and is relentless in her plans to have Elizabeth Proctor killed, destroying the lives of many just because in her head that would mean John will want to be with her. She is obsessive
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She does not care about the consequences her choices have on other people. In the beginning she endangers the other girls who were in the woods by turning the dancing into witchcraft when she drinks chicken’s blood and does not warn them of what she was going to do. Even so, compared to her following actions, that one would seem almost innocent. She has a complete disregard of the sanctity of life or any Christian values that she had been taught. She accuses or witnesses how innocent after innocent is sentenced to death or to a long time in prison. She managed to infiltrate herself into the justice system and convince the court of her lies, and then the court forces the people to either accuse neighbours or friends or to risk being hanged. Mass hysteria takes on the village,changing the social landscape completely, destroying friendships,families and taking human lives. Abigail just sits by through all of that, being more motivated by seeing her plans succeed and she enjoys the power her lies obtain her. This exemplifies that Abigail does not have love or simple lust, she is not just a bad person, but that she has pathological obsession and is living in her own mind, still thinking that John will come back to her and that would be the ultimate fulfillment of her…show more content…
Her plan to have Elizabeth Proctor hanged includes herself becoming an officer of the court, giving her a lot of power over the people of Salem. She plays her part in court, she and the other girls reaching a point when they start believing their lies themselves. Abigail has a sharp, quick mind and is a master of lying; she is almost never overwhelmed by a situation and she is always getting away with her lies. She is extremely selfish, never displaying any remote act of kindness or mercy or shame throughout the entire play, she is always playing her games and manipulating people into believing her. Despite all her selfishness,she does one questionable act: she stabs herself with a needle. Even so, that is also in her self-interest and is a key part in achieving what she had been trying to do. This only proves the lengths she is willing to go in order to fulfill her obsession. But by the end of the play, one key feature is revealed in her character 's motivation: when John is accused and her plan fails miserably she is faced with a choice, and she choses self-preservation over her obsession. She runs away to Barbados in order to save her own skin even though John refuses to come. She gives up her “love” of John pretty quickly when her own life and reputation might be at stake. The triumph of
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