Understanding The Crucible a play by Arthur Miller, study guides, critiques, reviews, puritanism, comparing Salem Witch Trials with McCarthyism, author biography. Hysteria In The Crucible Essay Abigail
Hysteria In The Crucible Essay Abigail Free summary and analysis of the events in Arthur Millers The Crucible that wont make you snore. Promise.
Abigail Williams is an intelligent and manipulative young woman from Salem during the 17th century, who single-handedly started the Salem witch trials as does her controversial . She is the main antagonist of many stories based on the event, namely Arthur Miller's 1953 play .
Abigail is described as "seventeen with a remarkable capacity for dissembling" who covets Elizabeth Proctor's husband John Proctor and tries to get Elizabeth killed in the Salem witch trials.
Abigail was raised as an orphan after her parents were killed by Indians. She eventually became the housekeeper for John and Elizabeth Proctor. After she had a sexual affair with John, Abigail was discharged by Elizabeth, who cursed her name. An angry Abigail went to Tituba, a black slave from Barbados and got all the girls to perform a Voodoo chant that would make men love them, but Abigail turned it into a spiteful chant after drinking chicken blood. After being accused of witchcraft, Abigail led all the girls to blame everyone of witchery, leading to the infamous Salem witch trials.
Elizabeth questions Proctor to find out if he is late for dinner because of a visit to Salem. She tells him that their housemaid, , has been there all day. Having forbidden Mary from going to Salem, Proctor becomes angry, but Elizabeth explains that Mary has been named an official of the court.
A similar thing to the Salem Witch Trials happened again in the 1950’s in the USA, when the Americans felt threatened by communism, and anyone suspected of left-wing (communist) views was arrested for taking part in ‘Un-American Activities’....
Real Abigail Williams was an orphan, having lost their parents in a clash with Indians. She lived in the house of her uncle, the revival preacher Samuel Parris. Her uncle Parris came from London and emigrated in the early 1660s with his family for religious reasons. After studying at Harvard and entered after the death of his father on his legacy in Barbados, a sugar plantation. There he bought the Caribbean slave Tituba. After 1680, when a hurricane had destroyed his plantation, he sold some land and returned to Boston and took Tituba with him. He married Elizabeth Eldridge, with whom he had three children named Thomas Parris, Elizabeth “Betty” Parris (1682 – 1760) and Susannah Parris. The income from his trade and the plantation were not enough and he looked around for a pastorate. 1689 he was appointed pastor of the strict Puritan community of Salem.
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In winter 1691/1692 Abigail Williams and Betty Parris began to behave erratically. According to the eyewitness Deodatus Reverend Lawson, Parris predecessor, the two children had seizures during which she ran with her arms flailing through the room, ducked under chairs, trying to climb up the chimney, spoken strange languages and contorted their bodies unnaturally. The villagers of Salem was worried. Abigail was accused by the neighbors to hex her cousin. The physician William Griggs diagnosed after detailed examination and the exclusion of all the known mental disorders that the girls were possessed by the devil. The girls seemed to be dislocated by the invisible hand of the devil. Abigail and Elizabeth confirmed this by describing how they should be tormented by invisible hands.
Although this piece is based on the true facts of the Salem witch trials, it is nevertheless not entirely accurate a historical perspective. To accentuate the dramatic tension, Arthur Miller’s Abigail Williams was an older character. In the play, she has indeed 17 years old and has an affair with John Proctor, who was younger, too, about thirty years old. The real Abigail was only 11 years old and lived more than 18 miles from the farm Proctor: distance very significant at the time, making almost impossible any link.
Free essay on Abigail Williams on The Crucible will give the understanding of the character and will help you write a good essay on the subject.
Mary returns, and Proctor is furious that she has been in Salem all day. However, she advises that she will be gone every day because of her duties as an official of the court. Mary gives Elizabeth a poppet that she made while in court, tells the couple that thirty-nine people are now in jail, and that Goody Osborne [sic] will hang for her failure to confess to witchcraft. Proctor is angry because he believes the court is condemning people without solid evidence. Mary states that Elizabeth has also been accused, but, as she herself defended her, the court dismissed the accusation.