Do You Think Abigail Is Presented As Wholly Evil?

1367 words - 6 pages

Do you think Abigail is presented as wholly evil?Many members of the audience may say that Miller has presented Abigail in a manner that shows her character to be wholly evil however I do not think this is the case.I think this because she is not incapable of showing love or passion. Though the audience sees near the beginning of the play, Abigail has been hardened, this is due to witnessing Indians murdering her parents, "I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine," she is not emotionless (the use of dear is an indicator of this). This is clearly shown in the scene with Proctor as she is desperately trying to win him back through stage directions, "she clutc ...view middle of the document...

This is understandable since "witchery's a hanging error" however her actions go further than this. She is capable of lying for her own gain despite the people that are hurt in the process. A good example of this is the yellow bird scene. This is where Mary Warren is accusing the girls of lying about seeing the spirits and saying that it was all pretend, "that were pretence sir." However Abigail is quick to deflect the accusations of "a marvellous cool plot to murder" and starts to attack Mary and accuse her of witchcraft. This is done through incredibly over dramatic actions, "weird chilling cry," and "she is pointing open mouthed agape at the ceiling." Millers stage directions suggest Abigail's talent for commanding centre stage.Abigail's most obvious act of violence is against Goody Proctor. When she plots to frame Elizabeth Proctor she stabs herself with a needle in the abdomen to mimic that in the poppet that Mary Warren had made for Elizabeth. However she is also very violent in her demeanour. She is very threatening when talking to the girls "I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you," and later on in the play when talking to the judge, Danforth. She says; "in an open threat," "let you beware Mr Danforth. Think you be so mighty that the power of hell may not turn your wits."The character throughout the play shows constant signs of cruelty. Through the play Abigail is constantly cruel to the other characters in the play. For example Tituba, the Barbadian slabve who cared for and looked after Abigail, was seen as disposable to Abigail as she was very quick to accuse Tituba of witchery to save herself "she sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer." All of her actions through the play are very cruel and unfair. She leads the girls into playing God and choosing who they shall next accuse and condemn to the gallows. However worst of all she starts to rub off her scheming and cunning attributes upon the other girls. No longer are they just accessories to her plot but are starting to make their own as after all it was Mary warren and not Abigail that accused John of being the "Devils man."In Millers shorts, one of the actors says that they do not believe Abigail has been presented as evil but as "wicked". I agree with this as I believe she is just an opportunistic young girl desperate for power and attention at all costs.Abigail is a very sly and cunning character and is very capable of manipulating a situation to her advantage. From the beginning of ...


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