Abigail Williams, Revernd Samuel Parris's niece, is a 17-year-old orphan with a penchant for lying. Originally encouraging of witchcraft, Abigail eventually blames it on Tituba and Ruth. She originally turns to witchcraft in an effort to make men like her, but later lies about what she has done. When Mary Warren and Betty, other girls, suggest they will tell the authorities in Salem what really happened, Abigail threatens them, saying,
Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you (page 19).
Just in case the girls don't believe her, Abigail reminds them that she saw her parents' heads bashed in by Native Americans, so she knows how to kill people. Abigail reveals she will do anything to protect her name and accuse others of her own misdeeds.
Abigail is a bitter, nasty person who has no qualms about controlling people and seeking revenge. When John Proctor terminates their sexual relationship, she seeks revenge by accusing his wife, Elizabeth, of witchcraft. Later, as Abigail hypocritically calls on heaven to help her in court, John Proctor attacks her and cries, "How do you call heaven! Whore! Whore!" (page 88). When Elizabeth fails to back up John's confession that he had an affair with Abigail, Abigail is able to triumph in her attempts at deceit and manipulation.