The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

Abigail’s Character in the Prompt


The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a fictionalized version of trials and presents a group of young women from Salem who falsely accuses other villagers of practising witchcraft. The accusations and trials push the village into a challenging time which led to the arrest of 200 people and deaths of 19 villagers (Miller, 1). In the play, Miller illustrates that individuals can be easily manipulated by fear and suspecting other people. The character of Abigail has many faults or sins that led to the outcome of the play. This case explores if Abigail deserved the blame for the overall outcome of the prompt using evidence from the play.

Generally, Abigail has many faults, and her behaviours significantly contribute to the outcome of the play. Some of her faults include greed, lust, envy and wrath. More precisely, Abigail craved attention, interfered with other people’s relationships, manipulative, selfish and a liar. She influences the minds of her friends using witchcraft to get the attention she wants. Abigail’s actions caused all the witchcraft issues in the village, which led to the arrest and death of many villagers. She also wants never-ending affection which led to her using witchcraft to get it. For instance, when Elizabeth Proctor kicked Abigail out of her house with her husband, John Proctors, Abigail practices witchcraft to kill Elizabeth Proctor. She also interferes with people’s relationships. She haves an affair and deeply falls in love with John Proctor. Hence, the reason why Elizabeth hated her. She is also a selfish individual who only cares about herself. When she is blamed for practising witchcraft, she neglects everyone in the village to save herself. Abigail also lies and make the villagers believe that she and a group of girls were possessed by the devil that is why they were acting the way they are. Abigail’s faults are demonstrated in the play, which also shows how her actions affected many other individuals in the village. Significantly, Abigail practising witchcraft and introducing it to other people greatly contributes to the outcome of the play, bringing the village and the people in it into ruins.

Abigail has experienced traumatizing events in her life, like seeing her parents being murdered at a young age. She lives with her uncle and cousin around the same age as Abigail, but she had no parents to guide and tell her what is wrong or right. Hence, she came to behave the way she does. Her childhood experiences and upbringing greatly influences her current behaviours and actions.  Some may argue that she is not to blame for the outcomes because she has no sense of right or wrong. Nonetheless, her poor and unstable upbringing should have been some of the reasons to strive to live a better life to ensure that other children do not witness such horrifying events. In my view, if Abigail had acted differently and tried to make better decisions in her life, the events of the trial and outcomes of the play would have been different. In this case, if Abigail did not engage in witchcraft, maybe there would not be any trials at all. Yes, Abigail has experienced a tough life through numerous difficult situations and had no one like a parent or friend to guide her. However, this does not give her the right to make everyone else miserable and turn the town into chaos. Thus, it would be inappropriate not to blame her for the increased witchcraft practices and chaos in the village.


Work cited

Miller, Arthur. The crucible. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.