Conflict In The Crucible

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“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller is driven by certain characters dominating or manipulating others. Throughout the entire play Abigail Williams is the epitome of manipulative, scheming and vengeful behavior. She uses everyone around her by intimidating them into saying incriminating things in court, and abusing background knowledge for her own agenda. This impression of Abigail is delivered through the use of dialogue and stage directions, reflecting the power and influence one person can have over another. Miller leaves the audience with a negative impression of the affect that these with power can have over others as he conveys the suffering that can result from such situations. Abigail lies to conceal her affair, and to prevent charges of witchcraft. Lowering her eyes to Parris, Abigail innocently pleads “we never conjured spirits”. Abigail shifts the focus away from herself, finding an avenue of power and takes full advantage of it. Ruthlessly accusing others of witchcraft she changes her story as a desperate act of self-preservation, “I danced with the devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss his hand. I saw Sarah Good with the devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the devil!” Abigail develops a chant of names, becoming ‘enraptured, as though in a pearly light’ demonstrating her lust for power and attention. As early as Scene one, we learn of the motives behind Abigail’s actions as she tries to get the girls to agree on a story to protect herself. She uses the threat of violence and their belief that she might know some real witchcraft, to keep them in line, “Let either of you breath a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you... i can make you wish you had never seen the sun come
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