10+ Important Abigail Williams Quotes And Meanings From The Crucible

Anusuya Mukherjee
Dec 12, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Feb 03, 2021
The accusation quotes in 'The Crucible' can make you wonder about someone's character.

Why Abigail quotes?

The play 'The Crucible' is written by Arthur Miller. It is a fictional story of the famous Salem Witch Trials.

The story follows a young girl called Abigail Williams who spreads false information about the wife of John Proctor, whom she loved.

Together she and other characters tell the story of the witchcraft that is allegedly carried out by John Proctor's wife, Elizabeth Proctor. These accusations led to the trials and arrests of more than 200 villagers and resulted in 19 deaths.

Abigail's character regularly shows threatening and foreboding sides.

The term 'witch hunt' became a metaphor used by people when the government hunted for suspected communists in the mid-20th century, and in his 1953 play 'The Crucible', playwright Arthur Miller used the fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials to show how these accusations affected the views of people.

These Abigail quotes are a look into the character's ideals and beliefs.

What parents should know

  • Of the major characters, Abigail is the least complex. She is clearly the villain of the play, more so than Parris or Danforth: she tells lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths.
  • Throughout the hysteria, Abigail’s motivations never seem more complex than simple jealousy and a desire to have revenge on Elizabeth Proctor.
  • Abigail seems like a biblical character—a Jezebel figure, driven only by sexual desire and a lust for power.

What to discuss with kids

  • Abigail is an orphan and an unmarried girl; she thus occupies a low rung on the Puritan Salem social ladder (the only people below her are the slaves, like Tituba, and social outcasts).
  • Once shunned and scorned by the respectable townsfolk who had heard rumors of her affair with John Proctor, Abigail now finds that she has clout, and she takes full advantage of it.
  • A mere accusation from one of Abigail’s troop is enough to incarcerate and convict even the most well-respected inhabitant of Salem. Whereas others once reproached her for her adultery, she now has the opportunity to accuse them of the worst sin of all: devil-worship.

Abigail Williams Quotes

1. "There be no blush about my name… [Elizabeth Proctor] hates me, Uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman!" - Abigail Williams, Act One.

This quote is in the first act of the play. Abigail directs these lines at her Uncle, the Reverend Parris, who is comforting Williams about the way she acted at the Proctors’ farm. She was working as the maid and made unwanted advances towards John. However, she denies everything and blames Elizabeth entirely.

2. “A wild thing may say wild things.” — Abigail Williams, Act One.

In this quote from the first act, the author Arthur Miller reveals that Abigail is unstable and she will go to any length to be together with John Proctor. In the first act the couple do have an affair, but John later rejects Abigail's advances, which set the events of the trial in motion.

3. "I want to open myself!... I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand.

I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" -Abigail Williams, Act One.

At the end of the first act, one of the characters has confessed to witchcraft. Tituba makes a false confession and it is accepted that she practices witchcraft.

However, Abigail sees this false confession as a way out of her problems. Once she confesses, as seen in this quote, she sees it as a way of condemning both the Proctors to death.

4. "Uncle, we did dance; let you tell them I confessed it—and I'll be whipped if I must be. But they're speakin' of witchcraft. Betty's not witched." - Abigail Williams, Act One.

In this quote, the author Arthur Miller lets readers know that the girls and Abigail were involved in many activities in the woods, including dancing, but she does not confess to witchcraft here.

Foreboding Quotes By Abigail Williams

5. "And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you." - Abigail Williams, Act One.

In court, Abigail threatens the Tituba. Through this quote, the author reveals how unstable Abigail is and even lets on that she could lead to some cataclysmic events later in the play.

6. "Abigail: But we never conjured spirits.

Parris: Then why can she not move herself since midnight? This child is desperate!... Let me know what you done there. Abigail, do you understand that I have many enemies? " -'The Crucible', Act One.

In this quote, the author shows that Abigail tells her uncle that she and girls never conjured any magic. She makes him believe that they were just playing in the woods. But she also tells this to save herself from being blamed for witchcraft. Parris' anxieties about the accusations of witchcraft are evident in his response.

7. “I don’t my duty pointing out the Devil’s people—and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a –" - Abigail Williams, Act Three.

In these lines Abigail presents herself as the victim. She makes it appear as though she has been the victim all along, and the readers see her here as a manipulating and conniving woman. This contrasts with the fact that she actually goes on to threaten Danforth after this line.

8. "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 cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" - Abigail Williams, Act One.

The quote is one of the most memorable Abigail quotes from 'The Crucible'. Abigail Williams delivered this quote in her conversation with John Proctor. The lines refer to her past love affair with Proctor, who she feels has now wronged her and she wants to get revenge for this.

9. "I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” - Abigail Williams, Act One.

In these lines, Abigail threatens Tituba. She tells her that she will not allow Tituba to ruin her reputation. This quote reveals how much she is willing to do to protect herself, it is one of the most heart-wrenching quotes about fear in 'The Crucible'.

10. “Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it!” - Act Three.

These lines are said by Abigail Williams in court, and they are directed towards Danforth. She says these words when she realizes that she is losing her power.

She wanted John to cave and blame everything on his wife so that she could live with him happily, but she did not get that. In the end, John decided that he would not cave and accept the accusation of witchcraft. In these lines, Abigail Williams is threatening Danforth, showing a dark side to her character.

11. "I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart." - Act One

These lines confirm that Abigail is still in love with John, and wants to believe that he is still in love with her (even after he says he is not).

12. "Give me a word, John. A soft word." - Act One

This quote reflects Abigail's desires. She was trying to get with John again as she met him on a road. Her attempt at seducing him were in

13. "I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I came near!" - Act One

This quote shows that Abigail believed her impact on John was sexual. She had feelings for him and believed that these feelings were reciprocated.

14. "She hates me, uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman!" - Act One, Overture

In this quote Abigail is talking about Goody Proctor to her uncle as she denies claims of being 'soiled'. She speaks about her dismissal and unemployment as if it the fault of her employers and their hatred towards her.

15. "I have been hurt, Mr. Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin’ out! I have been near to murdered every day because I done my duty pointing out the Devil’s people - and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a - Let you beware, Mr. Danforth.

Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! There is - I - I know not. A wind, a cold wind, has come." - Act Three

In this quote Abigail is very angry and has taken offense at Mr. Danforth. She feels accused and is almost threatening him. She says these lines with an accusatory tone with her face towards the heavens looking very frightened. Her body also grows cold.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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