- May 2008
Having thought about this on and off for most of the day, no. Abigail's initial actions were exigencies to the circumstances. At the opening, she claimed to have done nothing, then her story was that the girls simply danced (dancing was only a whipping offence), then, and only after Tituba's 'confession' did her actions begin to take on some form of retributive aims. Still then were those actions gradual. I would describe her position as cumulatively radicalising, but she was not the initiator. It take her a while before she seriously begins to manipulate the situation; even after that point, she still - to a good degree - is reacting to the situation.Over being used and cast aside, as well as justified in her desire to have what other possess.
The question of justification also seems to me to have connotations of 'good' and 'bad'. Is Abigail the villain of the piece? Again, I would have to say no. Given that she is driven along by circumstance, I would think the villain would have to superstition and communal competitiveness (hence the cumulative radicalising of the accusations).
Am I reading the question correctly?
edit: Did you know that in actuality, Williams was eleven years old and Proctor nearly sixty, an unlikely pair—even by seventeenth-century standards. Its not important to thread, but it does no harm!!