The Crucible- Abigail Act 1 Characterization
Michael Heifetz 10/29/11 Act 1 characterization Throughout act one of The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses many forms of characterization to present Abigail as a sly, lying lady, who tries to wheedle her way into getting the result that she wants by any ways needed. One method he does this is through Abigail’s words throughout act one. When Parris is asking Abigail about why she was fired from Elizabeth Proctor’s service Abigail stated,” [she] dislikes me, uncle, she must … [she is] a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling female, and I will not work for such a female!” (Miller 12).
The way that Abigail had actually blamed getting fired on Elizabeth Proctor being an awful person reveals that she will lie to not be punished and soil Elizabeth Proctor’s name. Miller’s option to have Abigail say all of those things instead of just informing the audience that Abigail lies a lot is a lot more effective in making an impression on the audience’s mind since it forces the audience to form the opinion themselves. Another manner in which Miller reveals Abigail’s wicked intents is through her actions. Betty gets up for only a minute to inform everyone that Abigail “drank a beauty to kill [Elizabeth] Proctor” (Miller 19).
Abigail’s actions, informed to us by the relatively bewitched Betty, to what degree she will go to get what she wants. Although Miller could have just mentioned that Abigail had been out drinking blood and appeals to eliminate Goody Proctor, he had Betty awaken and start shouting out what had actually taken place. This brings a lot more stress into the storyline and cast a greater impression on the reader. The last manner in which Miller shows the reader Abigail’s ill objectives is through what other characters say to and about her. When Abigail is with John Proctor he says to her, “Ah you are wicked yet … You’ll be clapped in the stocks prior to you’re twenty” (Miller 22).
Proctor saying that Abigail would be put in the stocks is just another way that Miller shows the readers how bad Abigail is. Stocks were normally used to openly humiliate lawbreakers back in the time that The Crucible happened. Nevertheless, many people today understand exactly what stocks look like and how the were used, so Miller’s choice to have Proctor discuss the stocks offers an extremely clear image to the audience. Miller’s choice of words and how they were delivered throughout act one revealed a lot about Abigail’s destructive intents through the story.