The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What insights into Abigail's character do you gain in act 2?

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In act two, John Proctor learns that Abigail accused his wife of witchcraft in court earlier that day, which demonstrates Abigail's vengeful personality. The audience is aware that Abigail has had relations with John Proctor, and it is evident that Abigail is willing to harm Elizabeth in order to be with John. When Ezekiel Cheever and Marshal Herrick arrive toward the end of act two, they search the Proctor household for a poppet. Once they find the poppet, they discover the needle inside its stomach and proceed to arrest Elizabeth for attempted murder. Ezekiel Cheever explains how Abigail was stabbed in the stomach with a needle and accuses Elizabeth's spirit of attempting to murder her. The poppet is used as evidence that Elizabeth cast an evil spell by using the poppet as a voodoo doll. The audience realizes that Elizabeth had noticed Mary Warren place the needle into the doll's stomach and knew that it would be at John's home later that night. Abigail's actions illustrate her malevolent nature and manipulative personality. She cleverly takes note of Mary Warren's doll and uses her excellent acting abilities to convince the authorities that Elizabeth's spirit attempted to murder her. The fact that she stabs herself also depicts her determined, selfish personality. She is willing to get what she wants by any means necessary and has no concern for human life.

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