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695 Words Dec 1st, 2015 3 Pages
Character Analysis Abigail Williams

Abigail Williams is the vehicle that drives the play. She bears most of the responsibility for the girls meeting with Tituba in the woods, and once Parris discovers them, she attempts to conceal her behavior because it will reveal her affair with Proctor if she confesses to casting a spell on Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail lies to conceal her affair, and to prevent charges of witchcraft. In order to avoid severe punishment for casting spells and adultery — not to mention attempted murder when she plots Elizabeth's death — Abigail shifts the focus away from herself by accusing others of witchcraft. This desperate act of self-preservation soon becomes Abigail's avenue of power.

Abigail is
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Abigail continues to review and edit her memories until they accurately portray her as the center of Proctor's existence. Rather than seeing herself as an awkward seventeen year-old who took advantage of a man's loneliness and insecurity during his wife's illness, Abigail sees herself as Proctor's true love and his ideal choice for a wife. She believes she has only to eliminate Elizabeth so that she and Proctor can marry and fulfill her fantasy.

Abigail's fantacy reflects her age. She is a young girl daydreaming about the ideal male. However, she possesses shrewd insight and a capacity for strategy that reveal maturity beyond that of most other characters. Declaring witchcraft provides her with instant status and recognition within Salem, which translates into power. Abigail uses her authority to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. She threatens the other girls with violence if they refuse to go along with her plans, and she does not hesitate to accuse them of witchcraft if their loyalty proves untrue. Such is the case with Mary Warren.

Abigail develops a detailed plan to acquire Proctor and will stop at nothing to see her plan succeed. Her strategy includes establishing her credibility with the court and then eliminating Elizabeth. The achievement of her plot requires cold calculation, and so Abigail carefully selects the individuals that she accuses in order to increase her credibility.

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