John Proctor Abigail Williams Essay

This occurs in Act 3 in the Salem court - Abigail manages to convince herself that she's being afflicted to the point where she goes into a fit that has real physical side-effects (her hands are icy to the touch).A large part of Abigail’s believability, though, comes from societal preconceptions – it’s unthinkable that such a lowly person (young orphaned girl) would dare lie to someone important (her uncle who’s taken her in, the Deputy Governor of the Province, and so on).Abigail and Elizabeth have a mutual dislike, although the feeling is much stronger on Abigail's side than Elizabeth's (since Abigail eventually ends up accusing Elizabeth of being a witch): “It's a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman! 11) Not only does Abigail think Elizabeth is bitter, lying, cold, and sniveling, but Abigail refers to Elizabeth as “it.” The only other time this happens in the play is during another expression of extreme emotion, when John Proctor calls Abigail a whore (“It is a whore! We mainly see Abigail's interactions with her family in Act 1, when Betty is lying unresponsive on the bed and Parris is freaking out about what people are going to say and how it's going to affect how he's perceived in the town. Abigail's resentment of her uncle, by contrast, is quite clear.

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The first thing we learn about Abigail (courtesy of Miller's introductory character description) is that she is young and gorgeous: “” (Act 1, p. More important than her physical description and age, however, are Abigail's relationships with the other characters in the play.

Abigail has important — and often contentious — relationships with the other characters, many of which directly shape the action of the play.

Abigail is an accomplished and convincing liar - she lies easily, without any compunction or care for the truth, and can keep the lies going. Within the space of one act, Abigail changes her story from “we were just dancing” to “Tituba sent her spirit on me and bewitched us” - and everyone buys it.

From her very introduction, Miller tells the reader of the play that Abigail has “ when Abigail lies about what exactly happened in the woods: “Uncle, we did dance; let you tell them I confessed it – and I’ll be whipped if I must be. Part of Abigail's success in convincing others of her lies stems from her ability to get herself to believe the lies.

Abigail has a somewhat mixed relationship with the third member of the Parris household, Tituba.

Abigail seems to believe in Tituba's powers to the extent that she gets Tituba to make a potion to kill Goody Proctor (presumably so Abigail can marry John).

By the time the play begins, Abigail still loves John, but the feeling that does not appear to be mutual, as John won’t continue the affair with her.

The relationship between Abigail and John Proctor changes even further over the course of the play; by Act 3, Abigail no longer cares about John as much and makes no move to halt his arrest and hanging for witchcraft. Abigail is also Reverend Parris's niece (and so Betty Parris's cousin); she lives with the Parris family because her parents were killed by local American Indian tribe. 18) Hitting someone is not exactly loving by today’s standards, but tough love was not unknown in Puritan times, so you could argue it either way - maybe Abigail's just trying to stop Betty from being hysterical.

11) when she's addressing Parris to illustrate the precarious position Abigail is in.

Because Abigail is an orphan in a society that does not value women, she is forced to depend on her uncle's kindness and avoid upsetting him or risk being thrown out to live on her own without any means to do so.


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