How does Miller present Abigail in Act 1 of ‘The Crucible’? Abigail is portrayed very early on in act 1 as a girl who very much lacks respect for others. Specifically Elizabeth Proctor, whom she describes as a “bitter woman” when talking to her uncle, Reverend Parris. The adjective “bitter” suggests that Goody Proctor only thinks of herself and expresses intense hostility. Miller uses irony in this as it is in fact Abigail who shows these attributes towards Elizabeth after Abby’s affair with John Proctor and becomes jealous of their marriage.
Such an admittance would ruin his good name and Proctor is a proud man who, above all, places great emphasis on his reputation. He eventually makes an attempt through Mary Warren's testimony, to name Abigail as a fraud without revealing the necessary information. When this attempt fails, he finally bursts out with a confession, calling Abigail a “whore” and proclaiming his guilt publicly. Elizabeth is brought into the court to confirm this confession. However, she denies that John Proctor ever had any affair with Abigail Williams in order to protect his good name.
Moreover, when Reverend Parris confronts Abigail about being fired by Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail denies any wrongdoings. She accuses Elizabeth as “a lying, cold, sniveling women” who spreads rumor about to degrade her social status. Abigail’s motivation in the witchcraft is thus revealed, which is jealousy towards Elizabeth. As Abigail successfully frames other people for being responsible about the witchcraft, she further imposes her domination over the other girls. Her domination is demonstrated physically and verbally.
The very idea of witchcraft is reprobated, as Reverend Parris reiterates, "Thomas, Thomas, I pray you, leap not to witchcraft. I know thatyou least of all, Thomas, would ever wish so disastrous a charge laid upon me. We cannot leap to witchcraft. They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house." (14) When the court becomes involved, the judges, reproving the practice of witchcraft in any form, are more prone to believing the girls' accounts of the torture each condemned person had inflicted upon them by the
Parris fears more of his reputation being blackened and less of being at risk of the spirits. “Since I came to Salem, this man is blackening my name,” Parris sais this as he points to John Proctor in court. Like Abigail, Parris has realized how easy it is to accuse people of witchcraft, so he takes the decision to condemn those who accuse his reputation. In the first few pages of ‘The Crucible’ witchery is mentioned,
Whom I now keep in service” (Act 1.2 lines 283-286). If first impressions are everlasting, then our first impression of Caliban is Shakespeare’s way to impose a feeling of disdain on his audience toward Caliban. Caliban is also the son of a witch called Sycorax. During Shakespeare’s era, bloodline is a big determination of social status which would further coax his audience into believing that Calibans slavery is within social boundaries. “Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself,” (Act 1.2 line 319) this line is a direct stab at Caliban and his witch of a mother.
Miller takes the “woman scorned” approach to his character of Abigail. Abigail’s assertiveness is observed early when she tells her uncle “the rumour of witchcraft is all about; I think you'd best go down and deny it yourself,". This remark, within the confines of a deeply hierarchical and patriarchal society, shows her to have knowledge of social situations and also that she does not conform to the Puritan society, which has already been evidenced by her affair with John Proctor. She is spiteful which helps to build the classic “woman scorned” role which Miller moulds her into: “Oh, I marvel how such
In Arthur Millers The Crucible, Act II, Scene ii negatively alters the audience perceptions of the principle characters. Act II, scene ii changes the way the audience will think about Abigail Williams. First, when Abigail states “I have once or twice played the shovel board. But I have no joy in it”. (Page1) This shows that Abigail is not happy with her life right now.
Miss Strangeworth is an extremely censorious individual. She is judgemental of peoples actions in her town and believes that she needs to keep everyone in line, especially if they are acting a different way then Miss Strangeworth believes is correct. “ Didn’t you see an idiot child before? Some people just shouldn't have children, should they?”(Sightline 252). Miss Strangeworth wrote this letter to Helen and Dan Crane because she didn't agree with their parenting skills, so to Miss Strangeworth they were wrong.
She threatened Macbeth, ‘live a coward in thine own esteem’ (Act 1 Scene 7), by questioning his manhood and calling him a coward. She seemed to be in control and took leadership over her husband usually dictating his actions. She had him in the palm of her hand. The one time when Macbeth decided to do what was right and stand up to his wife he failed and still went along with her plan. The one time when we knew that Lady Macbeth was still human and still had feelings was towards the end of the play when the guilt drives her mad and she commits suicide.