Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar. This young lady seems to be uniquely gifted at spreading death and destruction wherever she goes. She has an eerie sense of how to manipulate others, to gain control over them. All these things add up to make her a marvelous antagonist.
In Act One her skills at manipulation are on full display. When she's on the brink of getting busted for dabbling in witchcraft, she skillfully manages to pin the whole thing on Tituba and several of Salem's other second-class citizens. The horrible thing is that Abigail is the one who persuaded Tituba to go out and cast the spells. Ever since Abigail's brief affair with John Proctor, she's been out to get his wife, Elizabeth. Our crafty villain convinced Tituba to put a curse on Elizabeth, hoping to get rid of her and take her place at John's side.
It's ironic that the Abigail, who encouraged the witchcraft in the first place, is the one who goes around accusing everybody else. As ringleader, she excites the other girls into a frenzy of emotion, which allows them to condemn as witches the people they know and love. She riles up the entire village’s hatred of witches, just like her 20th-century counterpart, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, riled up Americans’ hatred of communists. Abigail's main skill seems to be finding people's flaws, their weaknesses, their prejudices and mercilessly manipulating them to her advantage.
Abigail's ruthless cunning is shown again in Act Two when she frames Elizabeth Proctor for witchcraft. Later on in Act Three she seems to lose her last shred of humanity by damning John Proctor, whom she claims to love. When John attempts to expose Abigail, she skillfully manages to turn the whole thing around on him, packing him off to the slammer. Abigail rides her power trip out to the end, eventually beating town with all of her uncle's money. Yes, it seems that Abigail ranks high on the list, along with Iago and maybe...