What is the evidence used to support Abigail Williams assertion that Elizabeth Proctor is guilty of witchcraft, in The Crucible?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Crucible, Abigail Williams is a young girl, who is bent on revenge. We know that she is accusing many of the women in town of practicing witchcraft. Her main goal is to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail had worked in the Proctor house as a servant. Abigail ended up having an affair with Elizabeth's husband, John, and Elizabeth finds out and fires Abigail. This makes Abigail want to get back at Elizabeth. Abigail's affair with John Proctor has fueled her anger.

"I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not. I can not! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet."

Abigail gives Mary Warren a poppet, a doll, to take home with her. Mary is now working as a servant for the Proctors. Abigail complains at dinner that she is not feeling well, and grabs her stomach in pain. This is the event that has led them to search the Proctor's home. They ask Elizabeth if she has any dolls lying around and she says no, but they find the poppet with a needle stuck in its belly. This is what leads to Elizabeth's arrest and conviction of witchcraft. Mary Warren was a very timid girl, who was easily influenced. Abigail brought her into her group of friends, knowing that she could control Mary. 

What is tragic is that because of a young girl, who was infatuated with a man, accused innocent women of something that would lead to their deaths. Yes, John Proctor had an affair with Abigail, but Abigail is the one who made false claims. 

Read the study guide:
The Crucible

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