The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Abigail's Character Abigail was self-confident. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Holy smokes is she self-confident!  Abigail has manipulated nearly everyone in the play: the girls, Tituba, her uncle Rev. Parris, the Putnams, John Proctor, and even, to some degree, Elizabeth Proctor.  Until things begin to fall apart right at the end and until she realizes John will never be hers, Abigail is the puppet master for this entire scenario--a role which would undoubtedly make anyone self-confident, or even arrogant. 

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Abigail's Character

Abigail was self-confident. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  

Until the very end of the play, Abigail was very self-confident--and with good reason. She had drawn John Proctor into secret adultery, which gave her a great deal of power over him. She was a very effective actress and liar who managed to deceive her uncle and the court. Abigail controlled events throughout Salem; innocent people were imprisoned or hanged because of her.

Her self-confidence was also fed by her ability to control the other girls who were "crying out" by intimidating them with threats of physical violence. The girls were very afraid of Abigail. When Mary Warren tried to tell the truth in Act III, Abigail broke her will and brought her back into the fold. At one point, Abigail even threatened one member of the court in a very subtle manner, suggesting that he, too, could be "cried out." This was a bold move indeed and shows how confident Abigail was in her own power.

Abigail's self-confidence did not falter until the end of the play when the tide began to turn against the trials. When she sensed she was no longer in control, she stole money from Rev. Parris and ran away.

 

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