“Difficult times show true colors, hard times reveal true friends, and the good will be blessed through the pain.” This quote from an anonymous speaker holds truth for any human. Readers of The Crucible do not have to wonder how the majority of the main characters behave or how they treat others.. However, Elizabeth Proctor is the one character that Arthur Miller does not inform readers about. They are solely given the knowledge of Abigail’s dismissal from being the Proctor’s servant and her husband, John’s, affair. Unlike all the other characters in Miller’s drama, we know not whether she is an angry, vengeful woman or a reserved pacifist. However, by the time the reader finishes the story, ...view middle of the document...
The audience now knows that Elizabeth is capable of loving unconditionally. Though she fights back tears while giving these instructions from her own fright, she still does her best to tend to her family and protect her kids while she will be unable to care for them. The audience is next able to read how loyal and honest Elizabeth is when Danforth calls her in to verify her husband’s claims of lechery with Abigail Williams. Unsure of what to say, as she does not know what has been revealed, she settles with these words:
“...I saw my husband somewhat turning from me...I came to think he fancied [Abigail]. And so one night I lost my wits...and put her out on the highroad...My husband-is a goodly man.” (223)
She knew that John was a lecher. They had discussed it early in the second act. In the following act as John is trying to liberate his beloved, he admits to committing adultery. He trembles as he says, “I have known her, sir. I have known her.” (220) The judges doubt his proclamation, and Abigail denies it. Proctor tells the judges, “...my wife...knew a whore when she saw one.” (221) Wanting to test the truth of John’s statement, Danforth then summons Elizabeth from the jails to inquire her about her knowledge of this. After a few strained minutes, she is ordered back to the cells, having denied her husband’s claim. John exasperatedly cries, “She only thought to save my name!” (223) Through this simple sentence, the reader has now learnt of Elizabeth’s three very admirable qualities: unconditionally loving, integrity, and the ability to keep herself composed and give instructions to others in stressful situations.
These traits, however, ultimately prove to be her tragic flaws. Danforth has Parris summon her to speak to her husband in an attempt to get him to confess and ultimately save his life. Despite her want for him to live, she loves and cares for him immensely and therefore wants for John what he desires. A selfless woman, she tells John:
“As you will, I would have it. I want you living John, that’s sure...Do what you will. But let none be your judge...Forgive...