Abigail, the orphaned niece to Reverend Parris, is cast out of the house of John and Elizabeth Proctor because of her part in the infidelity committed with John Proctor. Her uncle is suspicious of her hasty exit, and even more so when he discovers her dancing in the woods. In order to avoid punishment, Abigail claims to be victimized by evil, thus causing madness that spread like wildfire through Salem, claiming many innocent souls. Yet the one who escaped punishment, Abigail, is not innocent. However, her crime, invisible to the eyes of the judges, for whom faith had replaced psychology, is not to have trafficked with the Devil; it is, with truly diabolic determination, to have brought about the ruin of the woman she cannot forgive for being married to the one she loves.
Throughout the play, the people of Salem are consumed by paranoia and fear. Abigail is able to prey on that fear, as well as every other humanly weakness, and with her cunning, she is able to bend others to do her will.
With a combination of lies and threats, as well as her capability to take advantage of paranoia and hysteria, Abigail seems to be an untouchable antagonist.
Even as one first starts reading the play, one can perceive Abigail's talent in the area of villainy. With seemingly no conscience whatsoever, she lies continuously in order to protect herself. She denies her role in the witchcraft on page ten as she is being questioned by Parris when she says, "But we never conjured spirits". On the following page, she also refuses to admit other events that took place. "No one was naked! You mistake yourself, uncle! (p.11)". It is obvious that Abigail is a compulsive liar. She sees no problem with concealing the truth...