What accusations does Proctor make against Abigail?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Proctor's primary accusations against Abigail in Act III center around her deception.  Simply put, Proctor wishes to expose Abigail as a fraud.  In this, he accuses her of lying.  He also wishes to compel others to understand that her accusations are motivated by her desire to gain attention and to simultaneously deflect from her own behavior in the woods that would have gotten her into severe trouble given the Puritan code of social conduct.  Proctor does this in bringing forth Mary Warren and her deposition, and even admitting to his own affair with her in order to lessen her own credibility.  When Abigail spins the courtroom testimony to her own benefit, Proctor calls her a "whore" and demands that others recognize her own deception.  Proctor's accusations are different from Abigail because his are actually valid, proving to be quite true.  In this, Proctor seeks to try to "fight fire with fire" by accusing Abigail of dishonesty.  Being the origin of all of the false accusations that are running around in Salem, Proctor recognizes at the end of the act that he is no match for the web of deception that Abigail has created.

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