In act 3, why does Abigail persist in her lying? Is it because she doesn't want to get in trouble? Is it power? Or is it something else?

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Abigail Williams persists with her lies for a number of reasons. First and foremost, she wants to save her own skin. It was Abby, along with the other girls, who was getting up to all kinds of witchy mischief in the forest that night. Falsely accusing others of witchcraft is...

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Abigail Williams persists with her lies for a number of reasons. First and foremost, she wants to save her own skin. It was Abby, along with the other girls, who was getting up to all kinds of witchy mischief in the forest that night. Falsely accusing others of witchcraft is a useful way of taking the spotlight off her weird cavortings.

Abby also loves the immense power that the witch-craze gives her, something that she's never had before. An accusation of witchcraft from her, no matter how ridiculous, is tantamount to a death sentence, and Abby loves having the power of life and death over others, especially the people who've done her wrong.

And that leads us on to the third main reason for Abby's lying: she wants revenge on the Proctors. Abby and John had a brief, tempestuous affair. But after John's wife Elizabeth found out about it, John dumped Abby and she was forced to leave the Proctor household, where she'd been working as a maidservant. Ever since then, Abby has been boiling with rage, determined to get payback for what she sees as the Proctors' shabby treatment of her. And what better to do that than to make false accusations of witchcraft against them, safe in the knowledge that she'll almost certainly be believed.

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