Motivations Of Abigail Williams In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

718 words - 3 pages

A motivation can be described as a character having a reason to behave or act in a particular way. Someone or something can be someone's motivation. A child obeys its parents to avoid punishment or a clerk works overtime so that he can afford a better car are examples of motivation. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, characters illustrate several types of motivations. Throughout the play, Abigail is motivated by jealousy, power, and attention.
    The motivation of jealousy is portrayed by Abigail in The Crucible numerous times. In the play,  Abigail's motivation of jealousy is shown when Betty says "You did, you did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!". (1107) Abigail's jealousy gave her motivation to try to kill Elizabeth because she was convinced that John loved her as much as she loved him. Another example of Abigail's jealousy is when she says to Proctor "She is blackening my name in the village! She is ...view middle of the document...

And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!". (1107-8) Abigail asserts her power over the girls right away to ensure that she is not exposed by them. Power over the girls gives her the motivation to make threats like this because Abigail knows that Mercy, Betty, and Mary fear her. Another way that the motivation of power is shown in The Crucible is when Abigail says "Let you beware, Mr. Danforth.  Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits?". (1147) Abigail is motivated by power because Danforth listens to her while she questions his authority. Power is one of the main reasons that Abigail is motivated by.
Attention is another motivation in the play. For instance, Elizabeth says “The town’s gone wild, I think. She speak of Abigail, and I thought she were a saint, to hear her. Abigail brings the other girls into the court, and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel.” (1123) When the crowd parted like Israel, it gave Abigail the motivation for attention because the townspeople treated her like a celebrity. Another explanation that attention is Abigail’s motivation is in Act Three of The Crucible is when Abigail says “Oh, Mary, this is a black art to change your shape. No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it’s God’s work I do.” (1150) Abigail tries to gain attention from the jury to show that Mary is a black spirit that has changed into the form of a bird to try and convince people that she is a witch. Thus proving that attention is one of the three of Abigail’s motivations.
The word “crucible” means severe test or trial. The Crucible shows many characters going through various situations, or so called tests, where they demonstrate different motivations like greed, revenge, and love. Abigail Williams shows jealousy, power, and attention as her motivations. Through the play, Abigail expresses her jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor and shows many ways to obtain power and attention from the girls, the judge, and the townspeople.

Works Cited

The Crucible

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