In The Crucible, how is Abigail Williams symbolized as falsehood?

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From the very beginning of the play, audiences are introduced to the idea that Abigail Williams might not be the most morally upstanding citizen in Salem. We see this when Reverend Parris flat out asks Abigail if her name is "white." In other words, he is asking if she is sexually pure.

"Your name in the town—it is entirely white, is it not?

Abigail, with an edge of resentment: "Why, I am sure it is, sir. There be no blush about my name."

Abigail firmly defends that she is not sexually promiscuous; however, audiences will learn that is a lie when we see Abigail practically begging John to once again be her secret lover. John will confirm to the court that Abigail confessed to him that she hasn't been entirely truthful, and he does so at the expense of his good name in the community. Abigail will eventually realize that her lies have gone too far, and she runs away from Salem after stealing from Parris. This final action confirms to audiences and many of the community members that a large portion of the trials were based on Abigail's lies.

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Abigail Williams is the primary antagonist of the play and can be viewed as a symbol of falsehood because of her "endless capacity for dissembling" and malicious lies. Abigail's lies perpetuate the witchcraft hysteria in Salem's community after she accuses Tituba and several other innocent citizens of witchcraft in order to avoid being punished for dancing in the forest.

In addition to lying about certain citizens's involvement in witchcraft, Abigail also conceals her affair with John Proctor and lies about Elizabeth attempting to kill her in hopes of getting rid of Elizabeth in order to have John to herself. In act three, Abigail continues to lie when John Proctor accuses her of lechery and exposes their affair. She also lies to the court officials by accusing Mary Warren of sending her spirit to attack her and says that John Proctor colluded with the devil.

Overall, Abigail Williams's primary character trait is her ability to lie and conceal her true emotions. She not only lies to avoid punishment but also lies to advance her position and authority in society. Numerous innocent citizens die as a result of Abigail's lies and false accusations during the witch trials. One could argue that Abigail's ability to lie is the catalyst for the destructive witch trials.

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