10/5/01 In writing short stories, novels, or plays, there are certain standards the writer comes to meet. He will choose a basic story element to go by; either man versus nature, man versus man, or man versus himself. Then, a setting that is appropriate to the writer is chosen, a place where the writer envisions the story happening. Inevitably the characters are introduced one by one, and the writer tries to convey their personality and instill a mental image for the reader. There have always been the heroes, the villains and the victims. Any story can revolve particularly around any of these, but often they all have roles that create equilibrium in the plot.
However, in The Crucible, Arthur Miller did not need to create any such characters. In writing a play based on a historical period of time and the actual Salem Witch Trials, he had no trouble depicting the lowly characters, for they existed. The most wicked one of all, the ringleader and cause of all the deaths, happens to be a teenage girl. When the inhabitants of Salem first begin questioning her, Abigail Williams tells them that Tituba was influencing her into ways of corruption; "She makes me laugh at prayer!" (Miller 44). Tituba is very much innocent of such accusations, however the townspeople threaten her with hanging if she does not "confess." In order to save her life, she does give in and "confess" by telling them that she had seen the devil, and satisfying them in the lie. Abigail also convinces the court that Mary Warren sends her spirit out in a cold wind, and also assumes the body of a bird.
Finally, she stabs herself and proclaiming it a work of voodoo by Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail Williams accuses all of these people with only two things in mind. One of them is her desperate desire to be in the spotlight at all times. ealth y motives are the reasons for the murdering of innocent people. Abigail Williams' main cause for her wild accusations is a selfish one. It is to be with John Proctor, a married man with whom she has an affair.
She is sent away but all she thinks of is being reunited with him. Abigail drinks blood, wishing to be with John Proctor, which could happen only if his wife Elizabeth died. She then, after committing adultery and contributing to the breaking of a marriage, is not through. Abigail pursues John and does not recognize that the affair is over. She conveys this in saying "I have something better than hope, I think!" (22).
Abigail does not just miss her love, she becomes ruthless to get him back. Abigail William's aggressive personality easily persuades the other girls to follow her footsteps, and back up anything and everything she says. This personality also frightens people in the courtroom to question her truthfulness, or her relation with John Proctor. Due to her forceful behavior, the girls support Abigail, and therefore become entangled in her web of lies, sins, and murders.
There are not many people like Abigail Williams who could send people to their death and feel no remorse. With the exception of John Proctor, Abigail is harsh speaking with everyone. She appears to completely lack any form of understanding or compassion. It is hard to imagine Abigail having a long meaningful relationship with anyone.
Abigail seems to be far too self-centered to love John Procter. She cares only about herself, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. The last thing that proves Abigail to be an untruthful person is when she robs Parris. She leaves the man that took her in and raised her utterly penniless.
Abigail is the only person who directly effects the people, being the cause for their suffering and death (with only personal vengeance in mind). She has the ruthlessness of a mad woman who is prepared for every obstacle. Abigail Williams could be clearly classified as the "villain" of this play, this time period, and surely these trials. She will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants.