In The Crucible, what is strange about Abigail's denial of being a harlot when Danforth questions her?

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In act three, John Proctor makes one final attempt to undermine the court and prove that Abigail and the girls are lying by publicly confessing to having an affair with Abigail Williams. Proctor breaks down and testifies to Deputy Governor Danforth that Abigail is a whore and he has "known...

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In act three, John Proctor makes one final attempt to undermine the court and prove that Abigail and the girls are lying by publicly confessing to having an affair with Abigail Williams. Proctor breaks down and testifies to Deputy Governor Danforth that Abigail is a whore and he has "known her." Danforth is disturbed and aghast by this remarkable confession, which threatens to jeopardize the entire court. Proctor even gives specific information about their affair and confesses that his infidelity is the reason Elizabeth kicked Abigail out of their home. When Danforth questions Abigail, she responds by saying,

"If I must answer that, I will leave and I will not come back again!" (Miller, 111)

Abigail then approaches Danforth and rudely questions the way he is looking at her before turning her back and attempting to leave the building. Abigail's denial is strange because she never gives a direct "yes" or "no" answer and believes that she is above reproach. Rather than adamantly deny having an affair with John, she threatens to leave the courtroom. Her behavior and refusal to deny her affair with John while he is present is quite strange. The fact that she does not provide Danforth with a direct answer is also odd and she behaves like she is in charge of the proceedings. Abigail not only feels entitled and privileged but she also refuses to challenge John face-to-face. While Abigail attempts to act superior and above reproach, she reveals her childlike personality by attempting to run away from the consequences of her actions.

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Abigail's body language communicates that she cleaves to the trust that Danforth has had for her, and that she shows suspicion of others, namely Proctor.

Her specific answer to Danforth is this:

If I must answer that, I will leave and I will not come back again!

Through gesture and dialogue, Abigail's character portrays that she thinks she is in charge of these circumstances. This is strange because she is just a teenager still, not the presiding Judge. Furthermore, Abigail never directly answers Danforth with a 'yes' or 'no'. So far, everyone else has had to answer Danforth until he is satisfied with his line of questioning. Abby seems to have special privileges. When Abby speaks again to Danforth after this line, he makes an attempt to put her in her place, but it is rather weak.

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