In the Town of Salem Massachusetts, 1692, a group of adolescents are caught dancing in the forest. Among the adolescents in The Crucible, Abigail Williams and Mary Warren. The girls are horrified that they have been caught dancing, a sinful act, therefore they devise a story to evade punishment: they claim to have been bewitched. The first person who they accuse of witchcraft is a the black maid, Tituba. This results in her jail sentence as well as fearful suspicion throughout the town. Arthur Miller demonstrates the impact of lying as the girls recognise and manipulate their power in the town. Lead by Abigail, they go further, claiming countless others guilty and dooming them to exile. Miller demonstrates that there power is so great that even when Mary attempts to stand against her friends, she is quickly overwhelmed and once again plays along with their trickery. As the girls’ conspiracy continues, controversy arise over their truthfulness; people choose sides often lying themselves to support their side, further altering the lives of all involved.
Abigail Williams forms a continuous string of deceitful lies about the presence of witchcraft in Salem and her involvement with it, triggering the beginning of the trials and causing mayhem to permeate the town. Playwright Arthur Miller characterizes Abigail as "a strikingly beautiful girl, an orphan, with an endless capacity for dissembling"(8). Her fabrications induce calamity in Salem, and entangles many innocent people in her slanderous web of stories. In most cases, Abigail lies to evade discomfort or punishment. This pattern is first displayed when Reverend Hale interrogates Abigail:
HALE: Why are you concealing? Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?
ABIGAIL: I never sold myself! I’m a good girl—I—(Ann enters with Tituba.) I did drink of the kettle!—She made me do it! She made Betty do it! (43)
Hale starts to realize Abigail's evasiveness to his questions and calls her out. To escape the confrontation, Abigail accuses Tituba of forcing witchcraft upon her. As the interrogation is turned onto Tituba, Abigail continues to lie, saying that Tituba “comes to [her] every night to go and drink blood!” and makes her “dream corruptions” (44). Even as Tituba tries to justify herself and express her disbelief towards these statements, Abigail states more disinformation to Hale. Tituba realizes she is unable to go against the charges placed on her and falls under Abigail's subterfuge; she confesses to dealing with the Devil. Tituba's admission of witchcraft is the first piece of evidence that witches may be present in Salem. Abigail wants the townspeople to believe that she regrets all her sins, and that she is able to ascertain who has practiced witchcraft. She uses trickery to deceive the people into perceiving her as a good-hearted spirit by saying, "I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him... I saw Sarah Good...