Throughout The Crucible there are good characters, bad characters and the characters who do not take action when action is required. Of these characters, close to all of them embodies one of the seven deadly sins. Of each of the seven, there is always one character that is the worst sinner of that particular vice.
There are seven deadly sins but out of the seven there are two in particular that drives this play the most. In control of these sins is Abigail Williams, a young vengeful girl who used to work for the Proctor before being fired for supposedly having an affair with John Proctor. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Abigail demonstrates envy and wrath in order to gain power over John Proctor. Ultimately, however, her intentions result in disastrous circumstances for both her and Proctor.
In the play, Abigail is jealous of Elizabeth Proctor for having John Proctor as a husband and this is one of the main reasons she rains hell down on the city of Salem. Abigail’s envy gets the better of her, and throughout the whole play all, she wants is John by her side. Abigail goes to some extreme measure by plotting to kill Elizabeth and steal John for her own.
In the beginning of the play, the girls are in the woods dancing, and Abigail drinks a vial of blood which is part of a ritual that Tituba is in charge of. This later leads the girls to worry that they may be in some major trouble; you can tell this when Betty says, “You drank blood, Abby! You didn’t tell him that! You did, you did!
You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (Miller 837). The reason Abigail drinks the blood is to complete the ritual to kill Elizabeth Proctor. Her plot to eliminate Elizabeth does not end there because she calls her a witch in court.
In the play Abigail’s wrath is the thing that allows her to get away and out of trouble. Even though it’s her envy that drives her to do the things she does it is her wrath which allows her to get what she wants. Wrath is vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger and when Abigail gets angry or upset she starts calling people witches.
Abigail still works for her power over John by calling Elizabeth a witch to get rid of her and then have John all to herself. When Proctor asks for the transactions of the court and threatens to whip Mary, she proclaims while pointing at Elizabeth “I saved her life today!” (Miller 854) We know that it was Abigail who accused Elizabeth of being a witch because of the fact she wants John and drank a blood charm to kill her.
Close to the End of the play her intentions for both her and Proctor result in disastrous circumstances because John ends up being accused of witchcraft because of the twist of fate from Elizabeth lying about why she really fired Abigail. In the end it’s John who decides his fate by not signing the confession because he wants to keep his name clean for his kids.
John also goes on to say “How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 886) This quote is one John’s last lines in the play meaning he dies for the sole purpose of his name. Abigail goes on to run away and become a prostitute, a fitting end for a whore.
Abigail’s envy and wrath for John Proctor is ultimately a disastrous circumstance for both her and Proctor. In Abigail’s envy for John she ends up destroying the man she loves and raining hell on Salem. Abigail‘s wrath is also her passion, she loves tormenting people even the ones she loves.
In the end everything is messed up, there is no order, no listening, no control, all because of Abigail and her deadly sins.
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