What is Abigail Williams' role and significance in the Crucible?

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Abigail Williams is Reverend Parris's niece who ends up getting caught dancing naked in the forest and reciting charms with Tituba and several other women. Her actions drive the plot of the play, and she is the catalyst that stirs the hysteria surrounding the witch trials. Abigail is depicted as a callous, malevolent individual who begins accusing innocent citizens of witchcraft in order to avoid punishment. She also physically threatens the other girls to corroborate her story and immediately takes the leading role in the witch trials. Her affection and lust for John Proctor motivates her to also accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft in an attempt to be with John. Abigail takes advantage of her authoritative position in Salem's court and enhances the hysteria in the community by continuing to accuse innocent citizens of witchcraft. When Mary Warren and John Proctor challenge her in act three, she reveals her "endless capacity for dissembling" by feigning a supernatural assault and accusing...

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