Mary Warren arrives and after being told off for leaving to go to the trials, she reveals that Elizabeth has been mentioned in the court for witchcraft.
She willl not say who mentioned Elizabeth which means she has been threatened by Abigail who obviously accused her. This is also obvious to Elizabeth who also knows Abby did it to get her out of the was so that she can have another chance with John. She believes that John still has feelings for Abby and this is the reason for the girl's behaviour.
John tries to deny it and also denies leading Abigail on, while trying to calm his wife down. The argue again until she convinces him to relive Abby of any false hope.
Soon after this, Reverend John Hale comes to question Elizabeth about her name being mentioned in the courtroom.
He first questions John about is rare appearance in church and his un-baptised third child. He says this is because he dislikes Parris and finds him materialistic and only preaches about evil. This is looked down upon because going to church and following the commandments is the law, and they were expected to respect their priest.
Elizabeth denies the existence of witches when she is asked because if she is thought of as a witch, she knows there are none.
"I am a good woman, I know it; and if you believe I may do only good work in the world and yet be secretly bound to Satan, then... I do not believe it."
John believes there might be because of the witches in the Bible but thinks that this witch hunt is only for vengeance and in some cases, profit.
Hale asks John to recite the Commandments and he can remember nine of them, the other being adultery. He is disappointed with himself for forgetting any of them but this one is particularly painful for Elizabeth to remind him of.
As Hale is about to leave, Elizabeth urges John to tell him what Abigail told him; that the girls were not ill because of witch craft but because they were scared of being found out. He tells Hale and they argue about it as some women have confessed under the pressure. Hale is very reluctant to admit that this may be because they are condemned to hang if they do not confess.
Francis and Giles Corey arrive as Goody Francis and Goody Corey have been arrested. Cheever comes shortly after for Elizabeth and spots a poppet that Mary Warren made for her in court. Cheever doubts it when he is told this but John steps in to defend his wife. In their eyes, a doll would signify that witchcraft had been practised. They are only looking for excuses to send away Elizabeth.
After closer inspection, Cheever finds a needle in the poppet. He knows that Abby was stabbed with a similar two inch needle that day and is also aware that Elizabeth dislikes her.
Mary Warren is bought downstairs to confirm that she made the doll. She also admits that she left the needle in it and forgot about it.
John desperately tries to defend Elizabeth but Abigail has now charged her for the needle incident. Elizabeth is arrested and John promises to help her. Since Hale arrived, they have mainly forgotten about the awkwardness between them.
After everybody, including Elizabeth, has gone, John and Mary Warren plan to go to the court. Mary is doubtful about this as Abby and the other girls will turn against her and make things for her very difficult, but John is determined to get his wife back.
When they arrive at the court, Danforth informs them that Elizabeth is pregnant and if this is true, she will be kept alive until the baby is a few months old. Danforth is not sure that she is pregnant as she shows no sign of it but John is sure that it is true as Elizabeth has never told a lie. This is clearly something he respects about her.
The fact that his wife may not be hanged straight away is a slight relief for John, but he doesn't drop the charges. He wants Elizabeth to live much longer. Instead, he gives Danforth some papers signed by several people who believe, like him, that his wife, Goody Nurse and Goody Corey are innocent. The papers are rejected as it is considered an attack against the court.
Mary Warren is questioned in the court and is confident enough even though Abby is constantly trying to break her concentration.
John's last resort is to tell the court what happened between him and Abigail, and this is the reason she has accused his wife, in the small hope that there may be another chance with him. To see if this is true, the court brings in Elizabeth as John swears again that she cannot tell a lie.
As she enters the courtroom, Elizabeth is asked why she dismissed her maid, Abigail. She is unsure of what to say because she doesn't want to expose her husband as an adulterer but wants to get out of jail and get Abby punished for what she has done. In the end she decides that protecting her husband is more important. This, according to what John has said about her, is the first time she has told a lie. Despite this and the fact that she may die for it, she is prepared to lie for him. She is horrified when John cries out that he has admitted to it.
Danforth: "Is your husband a lecher!"
Elizabeth [faintly]: "No, sir."
Proctor[crying out]: "Elizabeth, I have confessed it!"
Elizabeth: "Oh, God!"
Now that there isn't much hope, John becomes more determined to help his wife and so puts more and more pressure on Mary Warren to persuade the court that Abigail and the girls are lying. This is hard as Abby has power over Mary and will use it to get her own way.
Mary finds that too much pressure is being put on her by both Abigail and John. Finally she gives in and rejoins Abby's group, to John's despair. John is left alone to get Elizabeth back but it is hopeless since he is believed to be attempting to overthrow the court. Eventually he is put into jail for three months for working with the devil.
The main change in John and Elizabeth's relationship is when she is arrested. This is a big strain but also a good thing in the long term. Although they make no contact and hardly see each other for the rest of the duration of the play, John proves that he really does love his wife. He tries everything possible to get her back and often has the chance to get back with Abigail but does not take it.
After these three months Elizabeth and John see each other for the first time since the trial. John appears to be 'another man' as he looks tired and filthy. The couple do not interact yet they show that they are happy to see each other.
"The emotion flowing between them prevents anybody from speaking for an instant."
They sit across from each other, and John is described as weak as he has been tortured. Finally, he is the first to speak. He asks about their baby and their other children because he is concerned about them. Elizabeth weakens when he asks about the children, but 'downs it'. When he notices this, he says;
"You are- a marvel, Elizabeth"
Elizabeth does not take much notice of this and only asks if he has been tortured. When John hints that he will confess, she only says,
"I cannot judge you, John"
She will not stop him doing what he thinks is needed, although he wants support in his decision. She wants him to stay alive and lets him know this but will not let him see her cry. She tries to be brave because her husband has been tortured and she is relatively fine.
John thinks aloud about what will happen if he confesses. He thinks he is not a good man since his 'honesty is broke' and he can't forgive himself, so asks for his wife's forgiveness instead. She replies that this would mean nothing if he doesn't think he deserves it, but takes some of the blame from him as she calls herself a 'cold wife' and thinks herself unattractive.
"I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery."
John does not believe this, but Elizabeth thinks that his affair was equally her fault. After so long, she has had time to think and has completely forgiven him.
When John makes his decision and is hanged, shortly after their last conversation, Elizabeth is upset but admires her husband for resisting the torture for so long. She simply says to Hale,
"He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it away from him!"
Finally, although John is no longer alive, their relationship was getting better. They had both forgiven each other and proved that they still loved each other despite all that had happened. They were apart for a long time but this gave them a chance to think and their suffering bought them closer together.
After the play ends we learn that Elizabeth remarried four years later John's death. Her trust was not broken in her marriage with John and knew that he was a good man.