In a small village called Salem, witchcraft and sorcery exist, however everyone is pointing fingers but not a single soul knows who is actually to blame for this nonsense. During this time period of hysteria, there are multiple scenes that are very questionable due to one person and one person only. Abigail is the one most responsible for the hysteria and witchcraft in Salem. She threatens the group of girls that accompanied her in the woods while they all danced. She has also lied about many things on multiple occasions in which causes an extreme amount of suspicion.
However, they cannot. Abigail threatens them “…we danced…and that’s all. And mark this let either of you breathe a word or edge a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the middle of some terrible night, and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shocker you…” (miller 1244). Abigail threatens the girls to lie for her. She has a lot of power over these girls, she is the boss.
The main story in the book is about how the girl lied to everyone about doing witchcraft to save them selves. They lied specifically about seeing certain people in the town standing next to the devil or there names in the devils book. “Let either of you breath a word or a edge of a word about the other things.. I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (Miller, 148) shows just
Abigail believed that Proctor actually loved her and she waited every night for him. She was brainwashed to think he would leave his wife for her. The witchcraft accusation came from the beginning of the story when Abigail and the girls were dancing naked in the woods and chanting. She made false accusations that people in the village were worshipping the devil to cover what she had done. Many lives were taken but Abigail had no empathy for anyone who was hanged.
Shortly after that, these actions started to allot all over Salem. Ministers came to Salem trying to find who is responsible for this crisis. The Puritans believed that to become bewitched, a witch must draw a person under a spell. The young girls of Salem could not have brought this situation onto themselves, so they were questioned and forced to name their torturers.
In the first Act, Abigail manipulates the girls into helping her lie about the forest “incident” in the beginning of the play. "Now look you, all of you we danced and Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam 's dead sisters, and that is all. Mark this let either of you breathe a word and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you." (Miller I, 20). In this quote, Abigail becomes aware of what she did in the forest along with the girl and threatens them to keep silence if they want to keep their lives.
Abigail is quick to temper when people gets in her way so she accuses them of witchcraft to get them killed. Abigail said, “Why do you come, yellow bird” (Miller 120). This quote is Abigail accusing Mary Warren of sending her spirit to attack her. She accused her of sending her spirit because Mary Warren told the court that Abigail and the other girls was lying about all of the witchcraft.
When a woman is accused of being a witch and her life is in danger in 1600’s Salem, MA what recourse does she have to protect herself? Women of the time had no authority; they were seen as property of the men they married or were born to. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible takes place during the famous Salem witch trials. It all starts when young Abigail Williams has an affair with John Proctor and practices witchcraft in an attempt to kill John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth.
Abigail’s self centered mentality is the reason why she uses fallacies to assert her dominance over others. For example, Abigail uses the Argument ad Baculum fallacy to force Mercy and Mary into submission. Before the usage of the fallacy, Abigail was pestering the girls to have the same story of the night before so she would not get into trouble for doing witchcraft. Suddenly, Betty regains consciousness and shouts about how Abigail was practicing witchcraft. Instead of Abigail finding a way to distress the situation, she violently attacks Betty.
These components made themselves known throughout the play in various instances. For example, Abigail Williams was the charismatic leader that convinces the girls to lie about what occurs in the woods in order to protect herself. She compelled the group of girls to accuse others of witchcraft through fear tactics, fooling the other villages that she sees spirits, and that she served a God’s finger. Her actions ultimately led to mass hysteria and the death of many villagers in Salem. This charismatic leadership displayed by Abigail Williams led to deindividuation among the group of girls.
The crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller which focuses on the inconsistencies of the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior flaws that the people represented during the 1690’s. In the story all the characters lived in a puritan town where several young women were exposed or afflicted to witch craft. These young women decided to accuse people of witch craft in order to save themselves from punishments such as, torture and execution, the people being accused by these girls were usually people that their families didn’t like or have had issues with in the past in order to get them out of the town. The main women to continue the act of accusing innocent people in order to save themselves from punishment was Abigail Williams. Around the same time of these events Abigail had relations with a married man named John proctor.
“The Salem tragedy, which is about to being in these pages, developed from a paradox. It is a paradox in whose grip we still live, and there is no prospect yet that we will discover its resolution.” -Arthur Miller (Act I) In the early 1690’s of Salem, Massachusetts, a disorganized, panic-driven investigation was undergone within, and for, the people of Salem, intended to weed out what was believed to be devil’s work, and resulting in nearly 200 citizens accused of partaking in witchery and the unlawful hangings of 20. In the novel, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, the acts of hysteria and lying to protect oneself are portrayed in Acts II and III of the novel to convey social issues that negatively affect the stability of a society.
The Crucible is a play with themes largely applicable to major current events of today. The matters that we face as a society that are featured in this book are: discrimination in the court system, what is a lie, and the freedom to criticize our government. Discrimination in America’s legal system was rampant in the early 1690s and, I would argue, is still as rampant, but much more subtle. In the Salem witch trials, there were three accused witches originally. All three of these accused witches were social outcasts, although they were targeted for very separate reasons.