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Exploration of the ways in which Miller dramatically presents the changing nature of John an Elizabeth Proctor.

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Introduction

Exploration of the ways in which Miller dramatically presents the changing nature of John an Elizabeth Proctor. Early in the year 1692, in the small Massachusetts village of Salem, a collection of girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and seizures. In extremely religious Puritan New England, frightening or surprising occurrences were often attributed to the devil or his cohorts. The unfathomable sickness spurred fears of witchcraft, and it was not long before the girls, and then many other residents of Salem, began to accuse other villagers of consorting with devils and casting spells. Old grudges and jealousies spilled out into the open, fuelling the atmosphere of hysteria. The Massachusetts government and judicial system, heavily influenced by religion, rolled into action. Within a few weeks, dozens of people were in jail on charges of witchcraft. By the time the fever had run its course, in late August 1692, nineteen people (and two dogs) had been convicted and hanged for witchcraft. For many hundred years throughout Europe ther was a belif in witchcraft. At times this would develop into hysterical fear leading to campaigns of persecution against suspected witches. Many of those accused were old women, some woul dhave knoweledge of herbel medicine or other folk reemdies. ...read more.

Middle

At the start of Act II John and Elizabeth are distant from one another. They speak of the farm and the weather, but do not seem comfortable together; "poor rabbit", "I think we'll see green field soon". John cannot go to court at this point as he would have to admit his affair with abigal and so blaken his name. Proctor's sense of guilt begins to eat away at him. He regrets having confessed his affair to Elizabeth, and relises he probably made a mistake in doing so. Elizabeth canno leave the subject of Abigal alone and she angers John "You forget nothin' and forgive nothin'" . But she wants Jonh to tell Abigal that she means nothing to him. Elizabeth refuses reconcillation attempts from John and this is clear when she recieves the kiss coldly. The husband and wife are clearly uneasy with each other, and the issue of John's infidelity divides them still. She criticizes him: "John you are not open with me"; he censures her for being cold and judgmental: "Oh Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer." Elizabeth is supremely virtuous, but often cold. There is little intimacy, alothough Jonh tries hard. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Elizabeth says to end the play, responding to Hale's plea that she convince Proctor to publicly confess: "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!" Elizabeth will not confess to witchcraft, it would be denial of her faith. Truthfulness is so importnat to herthat John Procotr asks the court to vertify with her his confession of adultery. To save Elizabeth, John confessed his relationship with Abigail. He is confident that she cann not tell a lie.So the judge cross-examines her without revealing that John has acknowledged that he committed adultery but Elizabeth's love for her husband proves to be stronge than her love of truth and she will not support the story and destroys his reputation.In what is arguably the turning point Elizabeth lies to save John. We are then shown that Elizabeth has truly forgiven Jphn and has come to relise some of her own failings. Is she had been loving and confident in their relationship, he may not have fallen into temptation. In the end Elizabeth shows great courage and hse refuses to influence her husbands decision. she loves him dearly but knows that he must do what is right for himself, even if it means bringing about his own death. ...read more.

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