The Crucible: Abigail Quotes

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  • 0:03 Abigail In Brief
  • 0:26 The Yearning of Abigail
  • 1:50 Anger and Jealousy
  • 2:13 Righteousness
  • 3:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Abigail Williams is a young girl, spiteful and angry that the man she was having an affair with, John Proctor, would dare leave her to go back to his wife. She's so furious she sets off a domino effect of witch hunts and trials in her town of Salem.

Abigail in Brief

The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller that features an illicit affair between an older married man, John Proctor, and a young girl, Abigail Williams. When John breaks off the relationship, Abigail turns vindictive and starts accusing women of witchcraft in hopes that Proctor's wife will be convicted and burned at the stake, driving her lover back to her.

The Yearning of Abigail

The first act of The Crucible is the one with the most poignant quotes from Abigail, since she shows that she is not an innocent child who had been seduced, but rather a seductress with plans of her own. She is one of the key players in the beginning of the book but dwindles towards the end.

At this point, Abigail is trying to pull John back to her, unable to give up on their relationship:

''I have a sense for heat, John, and yours has drawn me to my window and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness''

She embodies the opposite of everything in Salem. She's passionate and unafraid of her feelings, which is shocking in the Puritan community. The Puritans were a branch of the Protestant religion that believed that purity and morality were key to being close to God. These people were very black and white when it came to right and wrong as well as harsh in their punishments.

The following quote from The Crucible best shows who Abigail is and why she goes to the extent she does. The love she had with John was so different from her Puritan life that it changed her forever:

''I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was. I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!''

Anger and Jealousy

Act I also starts to show the evil within Abigail and how far she's willing to go to get her way. She could top any bully we know today with her furious threats, including this one made to Betty Parris:

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