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Look closely at the meeting between john proctor and Elizabeth proctor in the prison in act 4. In what ways does it show their relationship to have changed from earlier in the play? How does Miller make this episode both moving and tragic?

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Introduction

Look closely at the meeting between john proctor and Elizabeth proctor in the prison in act 4. In what ways does it show their relationship to have changed from earlier in the play? How does Miller make this episode both moving and tragic? Miller saw a connection between the Salem witch trials in the 17th century, and the McCarthy trials of the 1950's. What he wrote about was based on theory, which is linked to the 1950's trials. Miller is using the Salem witch trials to criticise the American society. He talks about Proctors tragedy to show how culture and belief can ruin innocent lives. In act 2 John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor's relationship develops. At first John takes extra care to make sure that he doesn't say anything other than a compliment to Elizabeth. When John enters the house he tastes the food that is cooking, isn't happy with it so adds some salt. However when Elizabeth enters the room and starts to serve the food for him, he tastes it and says, "It's well seasoned". This shows how desperate he is to please her. When she hears the compliment she blushes with pleasure and it is like she is trying to get compliments from him to prove that she is better than Abigail. ...read more.

Middle

When he says that he will fall on the court like an ocean it denotes that he will fight the court. The word ocean when he used it in that sentence connotes him being huge like an ocean and powerful. He is going to crush the court. Earlier in this scene some people come round with a warrant to take Proctors wife and to search his house. When the warrant is given to him he rips it, he can get into a lot of trouble for doing this because it is a important document from the court. John rips it for Elizabeth to show his love for he and because he doesn't want her to go as she is innocent. He feels it is his fault because it is Abigail that is accusing her so that she can have him. In act three Elizabeth is called to answer in court the question "has your husband ever committed the sin of lechery" to save his name she lies, a most difficult thing for a devoted Christian woman to do. She is very hesitant as she is answering the question and tries to look at John for an answer. This is the first time in the play where she needs him. ...read more.

Conclusion

John doesn't want to give the signed confession to the judge because they want to put it in the village so that everyone can see it. He doesn't want this to happen because he is an example to his children. It is his identity and his children have the same last name, which will be put to shame when the confession goes up in the village. When he rips the confession up, it is like he has reached his goodness. He has made the right decision for himself and for Elizabeth. She also knows how important this is to him and her final words are "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him." The sun is shining in the play as he is about to be hanged, showing that he is in the right. That he is going to go to god. Overall this play is a tragedy because John and Elizabeth part forever just when they realise their true love for each other. When they could live together with ease and be a family with their three and soon to be four children every one of these opportunities is taken away from them by the culture and beliefs of the people surrounding them. ...read more.

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