Auther Miller uses stage directions to show how controlling and manipulative in the first act of ‘The Crucible’. From the audience’s first read of the play you can see immeadietley that she is deceitful, Miller says that she has “an endless capacity for dissembling”. The word dissemble implies that Abigail is hiding her true opinions and affections. Also with an endless capacity for dissembling you begin to wonder whether you will ever see the true side or if she has been hiding her true personality for so long she has become her aliases.
Through Act 1, Auther Miller makes Abigail changes her persona a number of times. You never quite get to know her true character. In the beginning of the act she is almost portrayed as naive with words like “worry”, “apprehension” and “propriety”, shown in her stage directions is the phrase “quavering as she sits”. However towards the middle of the act she says ‘I’ll beat you Betty’ showing she is quite strident and relentless. From this moment on the audience are skeptical about whether Abigail truly cares about her cousin Betty or if it’s just a false personality used to hide her true intentions.
In Act 1 Abigail admitts that she “did dance” and tells Parris “I’ll be whipped if I must be” this indicates to the audience that she is a capable character, as for a girl/women to accept this type of punishment willingly would have been a great shock considering her age. It shows she is strong headed and determined to keep everything she did under wraps as she would rather be whipped for dancing then hung for witchcraft.
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