While lying with Betty, she warns the other girls, “If anyone breathe a word or the edge of a word about the other things, I will come to you in the black of some terrible night” (). However, when the news of her and the other girl's strange actions spreads like wildfire, the hysteria sets in. Abigail only contributes to the hysteria, though. She makes up lie after lie just to conceal her wrongdoing. She even pretends to see Mary Warren take the shape of a yellow bird while in court just to take the focus off her and John’s affair.
Once Tituba confessed to witchcraft, Abigail joined in by accusing others of witchcraft so the negative attention would not be on the girls. Once Abigail started accusing people, Betty woke up from her “infinite” sleep and joined in along with the other girls. When the trials began, it was Abigail who kept the charade going by pretending that the accused were casting their spirits upon her and the other girls in the court room. Abigail led the girls by crying out in pain, pretending to see things and shivering. When the affair with John Proctor almost came up, Abigail was quick to turn on whoever went against
Now from those brief descriptions we can already see the difference in the characterization of all three characters. Although Abigail’s character appears to be one that is instantly dislikeable because of her selfish ways, she is by no means stupid. She knows how to manipulate other people into acting the way that she wants them to act and her control over them is what makes her an effective antagonist. Mrs. Putnam on the other hand appears not to have been as well educated as Abigail. She instantly jumps to the conclusion that witchcraft is afoot, which is apparent when she states “Mark it for a sign, mark it!” when Betty thrashes in her “trance.” She is also paranoid by the fact that there must be some paranormal reason as to why her babies have perished.
She is far from a passive participant as seen by her actions. Throughout “Macbeth,” Lady Macbeth serves as the driving force behind Duncan’s murder. In one of her first immoral acts, Lady Macbeth begins to plan Duncan’s murder when she receives the witches’ letter, but she is concerned that Macbeth lacks the will to murder. After reading the witches’ letter that prophesizes Macbeth’s coronation, Lady Macbeth is overcome with ambition to take the throne. Lady Macbeth is willing to do anything to make this prophecy a reality.
In this scene we see how desperate Abigail has become and how far she will go to poses John Proctor. She in fact stabs herself with a needle to frame Elizabeth for witchcraft which will ultimately be the cause of her death and therefore leave John for Abigail. This is the scene were Cheever arrests Elizabeth on charge of witchcraft and upon hearing this Elizabeth calls Abigail a murderer who must be ripped out of the world. This breaks the icy exterior of Elizabeth and for the first time we see how she really feels about Abigail. She can’t hold her emotions in any more but after she has done this she goes back to her old self calm and responsible.
A Victim of Society Abigail Williams is a victim of her society in The Crucible. Many events and traumatic happenings have caused her to possess harsh and ruthless behavior towards others. During the Salem witch trials of 1692, Abigail not only accused innocent people of witchcraft, but also intended to split husband and wife John and Elizabeth Proctor because of her love for John. However, cruel and selfish actions are often influenced by an unpleasant past, as they are in Abigail’s case. One event in her past that influenced her behavior is her parents’ death.
Those endowed with it may perform very good or bad acts; all depends on the principles which direct them.” In reference to the aforementioned quote Lady Macbeth’s principles are cemented by evil that necessitates her manipulative misdemeanor in the play. We first find out about Lady Macbeths intention to become queen when Macbeth her husband sends her a letter describing his encounter with three witches that prophesied he would become King. In response, Lady Macbeth believes the prophecies will come true, but she fears that Macbeth lacks the rigor and tenacity to lie, cheat and deceit his way to become king for Macbeth was not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds. Though he was a brave general and a powerful lord Lady Macbeth was far from subordinate to Macbeths will. Unlike Macbeth she understood that to achieve something you have never done before you must become someone you have never been.
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses Abigail to illustrate how people will instill fear into others in order to gain power. First, Abigail asserts to her power to the girls by making the treat that she will come for the them in their sleep if they do not keep to her story. When attention is brought to the girls for being involved with witchcraft, Abigail becomes paranoid that the story of what she really did in the forest might surface and be faced with the consequences. She then warns the girls, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a point reckoning that will shudder you” (72). Through this, it is seen that Abigail is trying to gain power over the girls by making them scarred that they will be hurt if they do not abide in her words.
(Miller, pg 1131) Later we see Abigail turning against Tituba to save herself. This pattern occurs constantly throughout the play. Whenever the reality begins to peek through deception, she buries it by accusing someone else of witchcraft. This is the first step in this confused teenagers journey through mendacity. Abigail’s stance in court is complicit in leading Mary Warren away from the search for the truth.
The accused had two options; either they “admit” to being a witch/communist and name others, or maintain their innocence and be hanged/blacklisted. It was all delusional. Miller was motivated to write ‘The Crucible’ while seeing McCarthyism take place. Miller used several different techniques to create tension in the first Act of ‘The Crucible’ as to capture the audience’s attention. For example in the first scene of ‘The Crucible’ where Parris is trying to get to the bottom of what Abigail, Betty and the other girls did in the forest.