The real Abigail Williams was eleven years old in 1692 and had not had an illict relationship with John Proctor. How would the play be different if Miller had not presented a different version of history? What would be lost?
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Miller wanted to use the character of Abigail Williams as the antagonist. The "Abigail" he presents, however, never pointed a finger at John Proctor and never said that they had an illicit relationship. Yes, the real Abigail was only eleven. Yet, she had worked for the Proctors, been released from her position, and had named Elizabeth Proctor a witch. She was, in fact, the leader of the girls, and the girls were responsible for making the accusations.
Miller obviously rewrites history in order to write his story..... if Abigail were portrayed as an eleven-year-old, which she was, he would have lost all sympathy for John Proctor's character. Abigail gives us someone to hate..... Proctor gives us someone to empathize with.