The 17-year-old niece of Reverend Parris. Marauding Native Americans killed Abigail's parents when Abigail was young. While a servant in John Proctor's household, Abigail briefly became John's lover before Elizabeth found out and fired her. Abigail is beautiful, intelligent, crafty, and vindictive. She's also a skillful liar. She is the leader of her group of girlfriends and is willing to do anything to protect herself.
The The Crucible quotes below are all either spoken by Abigail Williams or refer to Abigail Williams. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Crucible published in 2003.).
Act 1 Quotes
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 cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!
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!
Act 3 Quotes
A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg you—see her what she is . . . She thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore's vengeance.
The timeline below shows where the character Abigail Williams appears in The Crucible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Parris, her father and the minister of the Massachusetts town of Salem, his 17-year-old niece Abigail Williams, and his slave Tituba. When Tituba asks if Betty will be all right, Parris... (full context)
...he should say he discovered his daughter and niece dancing "like heathen[s]" in the forest. Abigail admits they danced, but says that's all they did. Parris says that if the girls... (full context)
Mercy Lewis, the Putnam's servant, enters with word that Ruth has improved slightly. Putnam and Abigail convince Parris he should speak to the crowd gathered downstairs. Parris agrees to lead them... (full context)
...be hanged unless they confess. Proctor can't believe it, but Elizabeth assures him it's true: Abigail leads the other girls in identifying witches. She urges a resistant Proctor to go to... (full context)
...get Mary to explain, Cheever discovers a needle stuck in the poppet's belly—just that night Abigail fell screaming to the floor, and a needle was discovered stuck into her skin. Abigail... (full context)
...and to make no signs of any sort. When Elizabeth enters, Danforth asks her whether Abigail and Proctor had an affair. Elizabeth hesitates, agonizing, then says no. As she's being led... (full context)