The Crucible Essays On Elizabeth Proctor

The Crucible Essay on Elizabeth Proctor

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Elizabeth Proctor I would be more than willing to help Elizabeth Proctor. She easily gains sympathy from people because she is a mother and wife. Elizabeth has to sacrifice a lot for her family to keep them safe, healthy and happy. When she fires Abigail she is sacrificing her marriage because of the fact John could hate her for it. She is also sacrificing her happiness by staying with John after his affair with Abigail, but she does it to keep everyone happy. I also find it easier to want to help a mother because they work hard to satisfy everyone.

Mothers can also be unappreciated so they deserve any help or appreciation they can get. Elizabeth has herself spread thin but doesn’t let any of her worries show. Everyone can respect her and should be willing to help her with anything she may need help with. She has done nothing wrong in the story and is a victim if anything. The only mistake she makes is staying with her husband after he committed adultery. And to go along with all of her sacrifices, Elizabeth still manages to be blamed for things that aren’t her fault. In act two John yells at her for not being in control of her home. It is a fault, it is a fault, Elizabeth – you’re the mistress here, not Mary Warren” (52). John Proctor says this to her and continues to not listen. He takes over and because of that, Elizabeth is never heard. This is one of her main problems in the story. She is never respected or listened to, even when it is important. And the fact that her husband committed adultery puts an even larger gap between them. It is hard to imagine how any woman could just carry on after something so significant has happened in her relationship. Because of the affair, she also has conflicts with Abigail.

Elizabeth managed to bury her feelings but she and Abigail share a mutual hatred toward each other. Abigail seeks revenge by accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft and because of this Elizabeth is put on trial. Many problems are caused by this accusation. There is now the possibility of her children no longer having parents. And if Elizabeth makes it out alive there is always the chance her reputation in the village will be ruined. People won’t talk to her or might cause harm out of the fear of her being a witch. Elizabeth’s strongest trait is easily how she is strong.

She stays with John even after he commits adultery with a girl who was supposed to have been working for the family. Elizabeth could have let the entire village know what an awful man John is, but instead she remained silent. When she was taken prisoner, she didn’t cry or make a scene. Instead, she made sure not to fight back and told John to tell the kids she has gone to visit someone. Any regular person would have been expressing their anger and fear out loud. After this terrible event has happened Elizabeth finds out she is pregnant.

She is more concerned about the baby’s wellbeing rather than the fact that she is most likely going to die. Finally, Elizabeth has to watch as her own husband chooses to die in order to save his name. Today, people don’t think as highly of their names. But John claims it is the only thing he has left and refuses to let them tarnish it. Most women would have been crying uncontrollably at this point. However, Elizabeth remains calm because she understands. She also knows that she has an entire family to care for while she can. You would have to be beyond strong to handle all of this, and Elizabeth made it look easy.

Author: Eva Dockery

in The Crucible

The Crucible Essay on Elizabeth Proctor

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Elizabeth Proctor

Character Analysis

Goody Proctor (And We Mean Goody)

Elizabeth is good. She's moral. She's upright. She's composed. And she's also colder than Salem, Massachusetts, in early February.

In a neat literary twist, Elizabeth's positive qualities are also her negative ones. She is a virtuous woman who is steadfast and true—but these traits also make her a bit of a cold fish. When we first meet her, she's especially cold...and thinks she smells something fishy. She's got good reason to be suspicious and kind of distant, though: her husband has recently had an affair with their housekeeper, Abigail Williams:

ELIZABETH: You were alone with her?

PROCTOR, stubbornly: For a moment alone, aye.

ELIZABETH: Why, then, it is not as you told me.

PROCTOR, his anger rising: For a moment, I say. The others come in soon after.

ELIZABETH, quietly—she has suddenly lost all faith in him: Do as you wish, then. [...]

PROCTOR: Woman. (She turns to him.) I'll not have your suspicion any more.

ELIZABETH, a little loftily: I have no—

PROCTOR: I'll not have it!

ELIZABETH: Then let you not earn it. (II.65-74) 

Elizabeth's reaction to the affair also reveals a bit of a vindictive streak. When she discovered her husband's sin, she gave Abby the boot and then proceeded to drop a few hints around town that the girl was a floozy. (Um, isn't John a little responsible, too?)

For the most part, though, Elizabeth is a stand-up woman. Throughout the play, she seems to be struggling to forgive her husband and let go of her anger. And, of course, her hatred of Abigail is understandable. Elizabeth's dislike of Abigail gets justified later on in the play when Abigail tries to murder Elizabeth by framing her for witchcraft.

Elizabeth's PSA: Don't Lie, Kids. Not Even Once.

Overall, Elizabeth is a blameless victim. The only sin we see her commit is when she lies in court, saying that John and Abigail's affair never happened. This is supposedly the only time she's ever lied in her life. Unfortunately, this is really bad timing. Though she lies in an attempt to protect her husband, it actually ends up damning him.

After she’s spent a few months alone in prison, Elizabeth comes to her own realization: she was a cold wife, and it was because she didn’t love herself that she was unable to receive her husband’s love. She comes to believe that it is her coldness that led to John's affair with Abigail:

ELIZABETH, upon a heaving sob that always threatens: John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself. (Now he turns away a little, in great agony.) It is not my soul, John, it is yours. [...] Only be sure of this, for I know it now: Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it. (He turns his doubting, searching gaze upon her.) I have read my heart this three month, John. [...] I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery. [...] John, I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me! Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love. It were a cold house I kept! (IV.205-210)

This realization helps Elizabeth forgive her husband, and relinquishing her anger seems to bring her a measure of personal peace. Elizabeth's noblest act comes in the end when she helps the tortured John Proctor forgive himself just before his death.

Elizabeth Proctor Timeline

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