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The relationship between John + Elizabeth Proctor sees many changes

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During the course of the play "The Crucible", written by Arthur Miller, the relationship between John + Elizabeth Proctor sees many changes. For example - at the beginning of the play, Elizabeth is very suspicious of John. By the end of the play, she is a lot more open with him, and they are able to communicate more easily. We hear about Elizabeth first of all through Abigail Williams. She has had an affair with John, who is a farmer in his mid-thirties in Salem, Massachusetts. Abigail accuses his wife of being a witch. Abigail first describes Elizabeth to her uncle, the Rev. Parris, as a "gossiping liar" and a "bitter...lying, cold, snivelling woman" which makes it plain to us that she does not care much for Elizabeth. The whole play revolves around the witch trials, and the effect it had on John and Elizabeth. The character's development is mainly based upon the fact that they have to stick together through the witch trials and protect each other. As their marriage is going through a bad patch, this helps them to regain the trust, love and respect for one another that they had before. Abigail says to John that she waits for him - John says that he made no promises to her, as if he doesn't want anything more to do with her. ...read more.


John had previously confessed to adultery, but Elizabeth lies to protect him: "Danforth: ...Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher! Elizabeth: (faintly) No, sir ............ Proctor: (crying out) Elizabeth, I have confessed it!" This is ironic because if she had told the truth, she would have proven John was right and that Abigail was lying. She would have saved other lives in the process too, but she wanted to protect her husband, which shows that she still loves him after all. By Act Four, however, when they are reunited, we see the first evidence of the love between the couple. They are much more open with each other, and this is proven by the passionate exchange that they share with each other, in which John says: "The emotion flowing between them prevents anyone from speaking for an instant." When they are left alone together we are told: "It is as though they stood in a spinning world. He reaches out his hand... and as he touches her, a strange...sound, half laughter, half amazement, comes from his throat." The "spinning world" shows us that the couple being together is all that matters to them. It is as though they stand in a timeless existence - as long as they have each other, whatever is going on around them doesn't matter. ...read more.


Elizabeth's refusal to judge John is what gives him the courage to die rather than confess. To begin with, when Elizabeth says: "Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it.", he refuses to believe her: "He turns his doubting...gaze upon her." Elizabeth told him: "John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself." John doesn't realize that he is essentially a good man until he has signed the confession. Then, he realizes that confessing will prove nothing, and it would be better to die as a hero than have his name ruined: "Hale: Man, you will hang! You cannot! Proctor: (his eyes full of tears) I can. And there's your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor." This shows us that he had listened to Elizabeth after all, and he has recognised that he couldn't forgive himself if he lied to have his life, while others, like Rebecca Nurse, died honestly. I believe that Arthur Miller uses John and Elizabeth as the main couple in "The Crucible" to show that for a relationship to last, there must be trust and of course love between the two parties. It also shows us that you can work through problems in the relationship, and that a couple needs each other's help if they are to improve the relationship - you cannot have a one-sided relationship. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Kerris Smith ...read more.

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