The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play based on the events of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. During this time, the total of nineteen citizens were hanged after being accused of witchcraft in a town built on religion. Abigail Williams, the character who had led many girls to accuse as many as twenty three people of witchcraft, began accusing others of witchcraft to reach a personal goal. As it was mentioned in the play many times, she and John Proctor, a farmer who lived in Salem himself, had an affair which had ended shortly after they’d been found out by Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth. After tricking her slave, Tituba, into performing a ritual that was used to attempt murder, she went along with her uncle’s claims of witchcraft and accused people who got in the way of what she wanted.
Abigail wanted to reach many different goals, but the most prominent of those is that she wanted to have John Proctor for herself. Despite his attempts to deter her, she obsessed after him far after their affair had ended and went as far as accusing his wife of witchcraft so she would be executed. This is best shown during one of the last scenes of Act III, where Proctor confesses to lechery in a frantic attempt to save he and his wife's lives.
"In the proper place—where my beasts are bedded. On the last night of my joy, some eight months past. She used to serve me in my house, sir. And being what she is, a lump of vanity. . . 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, and you must see it now." (III.374-384)