Character Essay The Crucible

The Crucible Character Analysis Essay

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The Crucible Character Analysis In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor, the protagonist, is a farmer in his middle thirties. The author gives little to no detailed physical description of him, but from Proctor’s speech, we can still picture him as a strong and powerful man who is able to keep every situation under the control, the kind of personality which earns him deep respect and even fear from the people in town. On the other hand, Abigail Williams, the antagonist, plays an inferior role as an orphan who has no social status in a place like Salem. Over the course of the play, John Proctor is absolutely awakened and transformed by Abigail Williams. In the end, he overcomes the crucible by releasing himself from his guilt of…show more content…

The Crucible Character Analysis In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor, the protagonist, is a farmer in his middle thirties. The author gives little to no detailed physical description of him, but from Proctor’s speech, we can still picture him as a strong and powerful man who is able to keep every situation under the control, the kind of personality which earns him deep respect and even fear from the people in town. On the other hand, Abigail Williams, the antagonist, plays an inferior role as an orphan who has no social status in a place like Salem. Over the course of the play, John Proctor is absolutely awakened and transformed by Abigail Williams. In the end, he overcomes the crucible by releasing himself from his guilt of adultery and becomes a true tragic hero. John Proctor is an honest, intelligent and righteous man. Unlike many in Salem, Proctor is not afraid of the Church's authoritarianism, because he does not see the true value of it. Hence, he speaks his heart — “I like not the smell of this ‘authority’” (Pg. 181). When he is asked by Hale how come he does not baptize his youngest son, his honesty is again displayed. He responds that he sees “no light of God in that man” (Pg. 199). From the story, we can also see that proctor is a man with a extraordinary intelligence. He has the ability to feel foolishness instantly when in a presence with a fool. He is also one of the few people in Salem who recognize the witch trial as a mischief from the beginning.

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In the play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams is a very manipulative, seductive, and dishonest person. She is constantly caught up in a lie or is in the presence of trying to manipulate a person or a group of people. This vicious antagonist will stop at nothing to attain her demented goals. Although, in the end, Abigail’s persuasive lies do not get her what she really wants, her actions throughout the play influence many events and make her the most compelling character of The Crucible. Throughout the play, Abigail speaks using deceitful language in her constant quest for power. The audience’s first introduction to her true nature is in Act I when she says “…Let either of you breathe a word and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you…”

This quote shows Abigail’s desperation and truly violent mind while she tries to control the mistake she has made, but to control this mistake she must control those around her who know of it. Abigail feeds on the fact that no one would dare to expose her if they feared her so terribly. Abigail’s desire for power and her willingness to deceive anyone to get what she wants also foreshadow her actions. Abigail lies in Act I when Reverend Parris confronts her after finding her and other girls dancing in the woods and practicing witchcraft with Tituba. In the town of Salem, Abigail’s reputation is already somewhat flawed. But when Parris asks her “Your name in the town – it is entirely white, is it not,” Abigail answers “I am sure it is, sir. There be no blush about my name.” Abigail’s response was clearly another lie because she was fired as the Proctor’s servant after Elizabeth discovered her affair with John.

Abigail is a malicious, vengeful girl who, in an attempt to protect herself from punishment and to achieve her ultimate goal of replacing Elizabeth as John Proctor’s wife, instigates the Salem witch trials and leads the charge of accusations. Unlike the other characters, she is not very complex and is clearly the villain of the play. Her motivation is simple jealousy and her desire to be with John Proctor. Abigail’s cruel nature, however, is due partially from past trauma. She is an unmarried, orphan who watched as her parents were murdered by Indians. Therefore, she ranks low on the Puritan Salem social ladder, and the only people below her are the slaves and social outcasts. The witch trials, in which the girls are allowed to act as though they have a direct connection to God, empower the previously powerless Abigail.

Once shunned and scorned by the respectable townsfolk, Abigail now finds that she has authority, and she takes full advantage of it. Throughout the play many of the events, in some way or another, have to deal with Abigail or occur as a result of something that she did. She is the most memorable character of the play simply for that reason. Even when Abigail leaves town for the Barbados when her hopes of being with John Proctor are shattered, her previous actions still have tremendous effect on the lives of the accused. Although Abigail Williams is the cause of many problems, her influence in The Crucible is undeniable.

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