Does Abigail Williams in The Crucible beg for God's forgiveness?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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At the end of Act I Abigail does call out to God forgiveness, but it may not be exactly what you expect.  She has just witnessed Tituba's confession.  What should have ended in punishment for Titbuba has turned to Reverend Hale embracing and even forgiving her for any dealings with the devil.  Abigail watches as Tituba announces to every one her true feelings about Reverend Parris (under the guise that it's what the Devil told her to think).  Not to be undone, Abigail stands up and also "confesses" her sins.  She declares:

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 wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand—I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Good Osburn with the devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!

Almost as if on cue, Betty miraculously wakes up and joining in citing all those who she too has seen with the devil.  By confessing to God, Abigail is able to be forgiven by the town and Reverend Hale.  Instead of seeing her as a trouble maker (Parris has just pointed out that the town has been gossiping about her recent dismissal from the Proctors) the town sees her as someone who has been tortured, but who has overcome it to help her cousin as well as the town.

 

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