The Evil Forces That Be: Ms. Abigail Williams Arthur Miller's thrilling play The Crucible is a shocking tale of the Salem witchcraft trials and the evilness displayed by the main character and accuser, seventeen year old Abigail Williams. This play, often noted to be the most superior drama of all time, weaves a confusing web of characters. Out of all of these characters, Abigail Williams stands out among the rest as a crucial part to this madness. The absurd concoction of a story that Abigail manages to stir up and convince the whole town to take part in sends the entire community into a literal blood hunting frenzy. Abigail, the ringleader of all of the accusations, is most definitely one girl to frightened of.
This young lady symbolizes the evil in this entire drama. Her actions and words are unbelievable and without a doubt characterize her as the most evil force in this small Puritan community. Any reader of The Crucible can obviously see that Abigail is partly, if not solely, responsible for a great deal of the trauma inflicted upon the other citizens in the town. Abigail Williams symbolizes all evil in Miller's play The Crucible.
All throughout the story, Abigail is flashing her conniving ways. This character gives the reader many reasons to label her as an evil symbol. First and foremost, the entire witchcraft nonsense is created by Abigail's lies. After Abigail and a few other girls are caught dancing in the woods, Abigail uses this as an opportunity to create the witchcraft in order to avoid being reprimanded and punished. From her false stories and accusations, she sends the town into a mad uproar over all of the so-called "witches." Abigail's diabolical ways are clearly seen in her complete disregard for ruining many people's lives and families. She totally ignored the problems she was causing for other people to serve her own purposes.
Abigail even goes so far as to threaten the other girls she was caught dancing with so they will not reveal her evil ploy and expose her for who she is. Abigail reasons that in such a Puritan society, the witchcraft story will go over well since Puritans feel so strongly about those types of issues. Abigail's evilness continues throughout the story as her false accusations rise from one to many. This young girl does not simply accuse one or two people and leave it at that. Abigail proceeds to point out members of entire community.
She accuses people with no solid reason, simply basing it on pure meanness. If witchcraft ever existed, Abigail would be that witch. She is the direct and indirect cause of many deaths. One of the most important accusations and perhaps the pinnacle of Abigail's evilness is the accusation of Elizabeth Proctor, also known as Goody Proctor.
Abigail accuses Mrs. Proctor of being a witch because of her past relationship with Elizabeth's husband, John Proctor. Abigail had an affair with John and wishes Elizabeth dead so she can have John Proctor for herself. The very idea of this is heart wrenching for Abigail to be so cold-hearted in pursuing Elizabeth's husband in such a way. Elizabeth, because of a conniving Abigail, faces a death based on lies. The reader can also sense Abigail's devilish manners in the way that she manages to control others around her, some of which are adults.
Abigail dangles John Proctor around like a puppet on a string. This grown man, obviously intimidated by this young teenage girl, is scared to report Abigail for her evil schemes. He knows Abigail has purposely lied about the witchcraft and is plotting his wife's death by falsely accusing her. But her evilness empowers him in such a way that he tries to get his servant, Mary Warren to report her. John does not want to face Abigail in court for many reasons.
One reason being the fact that he is worried that she will report his unfaithfulness to the judge and the main reason is the fact that John fears Abigail. Abigail emits an evil air that frightens the people surrounding her. Another example of this is the scene in which Mary Warren does go to court to report Abigail. Mary's primary intention is to expose this fraudulent scheme and testify that the girls involved are pretending. However, once in court, Abigail not only denies everything that is brought forth against her, she pressures Mary Warren to accuse Goody Proctor of being a witch. This is a sure sign of the power that Abigail's evilness holds above all of the others.
It seems as if the whole town is more frightened of Abigail and what she will say or do than anything else. Throughout this play, one would anticipate that the eyes of authority would see through Abigail's scheme at least once. Especially when presented with the information that she stole thirty-one dollars from the Parris house, one would think that alone would make her less than a credible source. This, however, has no bearing on the credibility of her words. It seems as if even the judge and reverend fear going against Abigail. Her actions and underhanded ploys support the idea of her being the symbolism of evil throughout The Crucible.
Arthur Miller, an acclaimed playwright and leading writer used Abigail Williams as the main symbol of evil in this provocative tale. After reading just the first few scenes, it is obvious to the reader that Abigail is certainly running this show. She manages to use her conniving antics to hang many innocent people and everyone is intimidated by her evil schemes. Although the other may not believe her accusing words, many are too frightened to dispute her testimony. The irony of this is even though the play is intended to reveal the details of a witch-hunt started by Abigail, Abigail seems to be the only "witch" in the story, figuratively speaking. Arthur Miller is successful in portraying the seventeen-year-old girl to be a symbolism of evil.
His intent never falters and the reader is constantly aware of the danger that Abigail could and did cause. On every page of this drama, it is clear that Abigail Williams is the epitome of the evil forces that be.