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The Crucible

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Introduction

The Crucible In this essay I am going to discuss the characters of John and Elizabeth Proctor. I will write about who I think is the stronger character out of the two and my reasons for thinking this. I will mainly be focusing on Act Two of the play. The play is set in Salem, Massachusetts and is based around witchcraft. At the time the majority of the inhabitants of Salem believed in witchcraft and in 1692 the jails were filled with men and women accused of witchcraft. Eventually 20 people were hanged as the Bible led them to believe that witches must be killed. We are first introduced to John in Act One. He comes across to the audience as being a strong character and he is trying to make Abigail leave him alone. He says 'Do you look for a whippin'?' when she talks about John's wife Elizabeth. There are signs of tension immediately in Act Two when John Proctor returns home and Elizabeth immediately begins asking questions about where John has been and what he has been doing. This gives the impression that Elizabeth is a strong character and that she believes she is superior and that she has the right to know about Johns life. ...read more.

Middle

When John orders Mary and she resists, John shows his power and strong character by ordering her to bed because of this, John appears to be the stronger character in this part of the play. Elizabeth begins to worry about what may happen to her if the whole court case does not get stopped. John shows his strength by looking after her and reassuring that she will come to no harm. Elizabeth accuses John of still loving Abby and says 'She cannot pass you in the church but you will blush' to which John replies that he is blushing for his sin. She practically orders John to go to Salem to protect her to which he replies 'Good, then. I'll go' through gritted teeth, which gives the impression that he is only doing it for his wife and to stop her worrying and arguing with him. She feels that Abigail wants to replace her, so this justifies her worry about the court case even more. When Mr Hale arrives at John and Elizabeth's home and accuses Elizabeth and tells her that she is to be arrested, John begins to show his love for Elizabeth. He defends Elizabeth when Hale begins to question her about her faith and beliefs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act Four is focused on the court case. When Elizabeth is asked again about John's adultery, she refuses to admit he had an affair and instead, demands to talk to her husband. When he enters the room, the couple take hold of each others hands before John sits down. At this point in the play, Elizabeth seems quietly stronger than John in the way that she is dealing with what is happening. Both of them get upset at the prospect of John loosing his life and Elizabeth says 'I cannot judge you, John' and she recognises that he is a good man. He refuses to sign his name as he feels that it will betray his friend and that his children will be ashamed of him when they are older. At the end of the play, John is sentenced to death whilst Elizabeth has been cleared of her charges. In conclusion, I think that at different parts of the play, both characters can be seen by the audience as the strongest. John appears to want to be seen as stronger as he is Elizabeth's husband and he feels it is up to him to protect her. He also used his physical strength to show he is superior. However at the times that mattered, Elizabeth appears stronger. ...read more.

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