Abigail Williams and John Proctor

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Abigail Williams is Reverend Parris’ teenage niece and the play’s antagonist. Abigail was previously the maid for the Proctor house, fired by Elizabeth Proctor after her discovery of Abigail’s affair wither husband, John. She accuses many of witchcraft, starting first with the communities’ outcast and gradually moving up to respected members of the community. Finally, she accuses Elizabeth Proctor, believing the John truly loves her and not Elizabeth. Abigail wants Elizabeth out of the way so that she and John can get together. Proctor states that Abigail “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it.” (110) Implying that Abigail is manipulative and charismatic, attacking anyone who stands in her way. She flees Salem during the trial and, according to legend, becomes a prostitute in Boston. John Proctor is a down to earth, straightforward farmer and the play’s protagonist. He has a sexual relationship with Abigail Williams while she is a servant at his farm. Although he speaks his mind and stands up to Parris, he has no wish to be a victim and he is careful about he says when he senses real danger. He does show courage and boldness in his opposition to Parris and Putnam and he fiercely resists the arrest of his wife. Proctor is cautious when it comes to denouncing Abigail, particularly when his wife, claiming to be pregnant, is not in immediate danger. However, he feels he owes it to his accused friends to expose Abigail as a liar. He works hard to build a defense for those accused and manages to persuade Mary Warren to tell the truth, but this success is short-lived. As a last resort, he suffers the public shame of confessing to his adultery with Abigail. In prison, he eventually confesses so that he
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