Abigail commits many sins and manipulates many people so she can prevent herself from getting in trouble. It all began when she committed adultery. According to the Old Testament, lust is one of the seven deadly sins. Abigail’s lust for John Proctor provokes her to commit adultery with John who is married to Elizabeth. Even though John Proctor isn’t free of blame, Abigail has more responsibility for the affair. After John Proctor realizes that it is wrong to have an affair behind Elizabeth’s back, he tells Abigail “ Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time.
But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched. ” (Miller, 23) But Abigail says: “You loved me John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you loved me yet. ” (Miller, 24) She tries to convince John to be with her even though she knows it is wrong. She thinks John will be with her if his wife is gone and tries to curse Elizabeth when she is in the woods dancing with Tituba and other girls. Then she tries to manipulate other girls to help her get what she wants.
Abigail is very manipulative. After being accused of witchcraft when she was caught dancing in the forest, she manipulates other girls to do as she says to avoid getting in trouble. At the beginning of Act I, Abigail says to the girls: Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters. And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. Miller, 20) This shows that Abigail is threatening the girls to listen to her and do as she says so Abigail can stay out of trouble. When Abigail knows that she is able to easily influence the girls, she abuses her power by making false accusations. Abigail starts to make false accusations when she is at Parris’s house after seeing Tituba confess and get saved by God. She knows confessing and accusing other people of associating with the Devil will allow her to be saved too. At the end of Act I, Abigail says:” I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil… I saw Goody Booth with the Devil! (Miller, 48) Afterwards, Abigail starts to gain more power because people believe she has the ability to see who has associated with the Devil. Abigail abuses her power to accuse even more innocent people. One day, Elizabeth Proctor finds out that Abigail accused her of practicing witchcraft. She says to John: “It is her dearest hope, John, I know it. There be a thousand names; why does she call mine?… She thinks to take my place, John. ” (Miller, 61) This shows that Abigail is accusing Elizabeth because she is spiteful that Elizabeth is married to John.
Many other people are accused and eventually, those who are accused but do not confess are put to death. The power and influence Abigail has over the people of Salem has resulted in the death and misery of many people. Her false accusations made the court suspicious of the accused victims. Those who didn’t want to lie to the judges, such as John Proctor and Martha Corey are hung. However, “twenty years after the last execution, the government awarded compensation to the victims still living, and to the families of the dead. This means all of the people who were executed or convicted were punished wrongfully. Abigail is indirectly responsible for the death of many citizens of Salem. If she hasn’t practiced witchcraft or accused people, the witchcraft hysteria in Salem wouldn’t have started. Abigail is a hypocrite who falsely accuses others of practicing witchcraft while committing countless sins herself. Her influence over the people of Salem has caused the death of many innocent people. Ultimately, she is the villain of “The Crucible”.