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A few scenes later, Betty awakes at hearing the Lord’s prayer and tries to jump out the window crying for her mother. She has been comatose for a while, to then to suddenly jump up and try and fly out the window whilst threatening and cursing adds lots of tension to the play. Abbey, very strictly, tells her that her mother is dead. Betty then yells, “You drank blood, Abbey… to kill John Proctor’s wife! ” clear example of the tension mounting.
It’s a shock for the audience to see hysteria like this from a little girl.
Abbey gets very angry and starts slapping Betty telling her not to get them all in trouble and to keep her mouth shut. We see a sudden shadowed personality of Abbey making us wonder what her hidden agendas are. Our attention has now been drawn to Abigail Williams or Abbey as she’s better known. Parris is curious about her and asks about her reputation in the village and her alleged “dancing in the woods”.
The audiences’ mistrust of the main character creates classic tension in the scenes making them highly suspicious of her.
She is also very beautiful and in those days people are not supposed to look at people in an attractive way because of the sexually repressive time but her charms are irresistible! Later in Act one the Reverend Hale of Beverley is sent for and we then get to meet John Proctor. He has been the sanest character in the whole play so far.
He meets Abbey behind the stable where they talk to each other and display a clear relationship between themselves. There is a lot of sexual tension in this scene, the passion between them is strong and reveals their true desire for one another, both wanting each other.
John says, “we never touched” denying everything because he comes from a Christian society were what happened between them was not puritan therefor very wrong. Puritanical religions follow by the Ten Commandments creating the repression that’s why the sexual tension is so high. Abbey replies with,”you sweated like a stallion, when ever you came near me! ” this shows that John has a craving for her and that they have a clear strong lust for each other.
Regardless of what happened John tells Abbey with a vigorous contempt that if she carries on doing what she’s doing by using him or others, “you’ll be clapped in the stocks before your 20”. Abbey sees this rejection and accepts she has been used. In her response she shows an extremely enthusiastic hate for John’s Wife. She speaks to him about his wife with a passionate hate for her like it’s her fault John has rejected her. Abbey says “she is a cold, snivelling woman… Christian woman! ” and “whatever sin it is you love me yet” meaning even though their relationship may not be by the rules they both know it’s right.
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