Abigail Williams is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic characters in the play, and her actions drive much of the drama and conflict throughout the story. Whether you’re a student studying “The Crucible” for the first time or a lifelong fan of the play, this blog post is sure to provide you with new insights and perspectives on one of its most intriguing characters – Abigail Williams.

Throughout the play, Abigail is revealed to be a deeply troubled and manipulative young woman, willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Her motivations are complex and multi-layered, and her actions have far-reaching consequences for the other characters in the play.

How is Historical Fiction used in The Crucible

Abigail WilliamsCharacter Analysis

  • The ‘ringleader’ of the group of girls who start to accuse individuals of witchcraft, is a 17-year-old girl who lives in Salem. 
  • As an orphan and being unmarried, she has no social status in the town – this perhaps leads to feelings of resentment which cause her to act out. 
  • Sometimes she works and lives in people’s houses as a servant (such as the Proctors’). 
  • At other times, she lives with her uncle Reverend Parris. 
  • Abigail is extremely intelligent and emotionally manipulative, she is arguably the villain or the antagonist of the play – she incites the other girls into a frenzy, to create fear and chaos in the town. 
  • Abigail seduces Proctor, and the two have a brief affair. Though this is not seen in the play, we do witness moments between the characters where she is still trying to entice him further, and he resists her advances.
  • At the end of the play, when Abigail realises that Proctor will be hanged, she leaves Salem and is not seen again, taking Reverend Parris’ life savings with her. This conveys her ultimate cowardice and cunning. It implies that she has potentially narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies – she manipulates others as far as possible and abandons them when they are no longer useful to her. She shows no guilt or remorse for her actions. 

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