Abigail

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  • Created by: SawdahH
  • Created on: 20-05-16 17:42
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  • Abigail
    • Manipulative liar
    • Terrifying and harsh - uses fear to control
      • Controls the girls who follow her because they're scared of what she'll do.
        • She threatens them, if they don't lie then she'll "bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you (them)"
          • She has seen "reddish work" and will "shudder" a "pointy reckoning" there are connotations of witchcraft here, so Miller suggests that Abigail is dark and disturbed, she is sinful and the opposite of how a good Christian woman should be, opposite of Elizabeth.
            • Through this he presents her as the main antagonist of the play.It could be suggested that she is the sin of Salem that needs to be removed to purify it.
            • She cares about her reputation and believes her "name is good in the village" but Parris' questions show that her name actually is "soiled" - she lies and has been a mistress, she is not pure or innocent and so Miller reinforces the idea that Abigail is evil and impure.
              • So when people start to listen to her and care (Danforth refers to her as "child" suggests compassion) she is glad that her name has no doubt, and she abuses this trust, of being God's messenger or saviour, for revenge, which s sinful and the opposite of what she should do.
      • Controls Danforth and the court, they believe her and the girls as they are the victims.
        • She won't let them doubt her "What look do you give me? (Danforth cannot speak) I'll not have such looks!" (A3 P89)
          • Miller subverts the common stereotype of Puritan women in a theocratic society through Abigail,
            • She has seen "reddish work" and will "shudder" a "pointy reckoning" there are connotations of witchcraft here, so Miller suggests that Abigail is dark and disturbed, she is sinful and the opposite of how a good Christian woman should be, opposite of Elizabeth.
              • Through this he presents her as the main antagonist of the play.It could be suggested that she is the sin of Salem that needs to be removed to purify it.
              • She cares about her reputation and believes her "name is good in the village" but Parris' questions show that her name actually is "soiled" - she lies and has been a mistress, she is not pure or innocent and so Miller reinforces the idea that Abigail is evil and impure.
                • So when people start to listen to her and care (Danforth refers to her as "child" suggests compassion) she is glad that her name has no doubt, and she abuses this trust, of being God's messenger or saviour, for revenge, which s sinful and the opposite of what she should do.
            • Women were supposed to be good wives and they were inferior to men, but Abigail is an exception. She has power over Danforth, the court and Parris, and has the confidence and authority many Puritan women lacked.
        • She speaks to Danforth "in an open threat" (stage directions A3 P87)  when he starts to "mistrust" her (what she thinks)
          • She won't let them doubt her "What look do you give me? (Danforth cannot speak) I'll not have such looks!" (A3 P89)
            • Miller subverts the common stereotype of Puritan women in a theocratic society through Abigail,
              • Women were supposed to be good wives and they were inferior to men, but Abigail is an exception. She has power over Danforth, the court and Parris, and has the confidence and authority many Puritan women lacked.
      • Miller presents her as a cunning and authoritative figure.
        • People believe her lies, and through this she becomes more powerful, she is treated like a direct saviour from God, the main witness of the court an a victim.
          • Controls Danforth and the court, they believe her and the girls as they are the victims.
            • She speaks to Danforth "in an open threat" (stage directions A3 P87)  when he starts to "mistrust" her (what she thinks)
            • Because of this she feels empowered and has a lot of authority.
            • She plays on people's fear of the Devil and of witchcraft by manipulating them to believe it all exists, and through this she gets what she wants.
              • Can be compared to Joe McCarthy who played on people's fear of communism to make them confess and accuse people, He also excited the country into a frenzy like Abigail.
      • Wants revenge
      • Has some sort of innocence
        • Genuinely believes Proctor loves her and that there's a relationship there.
          • That's why she wants to kill Elizabeth and get her revenge.
            • "You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor" (A1 P15)
          • Believes he made a "promise" to her in bed, she believes she has "something better than hope" (A1 P18)
            • She's young and naive, a "child" has been taught that sex is sacred - happens between two people in love, and is a deep commitment
              • So based on her religious views, the only explanation is that Proctor does "love her yet" (A1 P19)

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