The climatic scene is relevant to any individual who struggles against an immoral society and has to emerge with integrity or choose to compromise their beliefs. As well as showing the cathartic moment when Proctor decides to die with integrity, this scene also reveals the love between John and Elizabeth.
After being separated and imprisoned for three months. Proctor and Elizabeth are brought together, for the purpose of Elizabeth trying to persuade Proctor to choose to confess to witchcraft and save his life. Elizabeth is carrying their child, which symbolises their growing bond, getting carefully nurtured by Elizabeth. “the child?”....”it grows”. Proctor begins to consider confessing, as he realises that he wants to live so that he can see his children grow up and so that they have a father. “a variety that will not blind god or keep my children out of the wind”. Elizabeth attempts to blame herself for Proctors lack of fidelity claiming that she understands that it was natural for him to cheat because she wasn’t having sex with him regularly or being a good enough wife, but Proctor doesn’t allow her to take the blame “it needs a cold wife to prompt lechery” ... “i will not hear it”.
Proctor tries to ensure that he would be doing the right thing by confessing to witchery by begging Elizabeth to tell him what to do, showing how their connection has grown stronger. “Proctor, his chest leaning, he stares, turns to Elizabeth”. When Elizabeth assures John of her love and respect for him, he decides that he will plead for his life “i want my life”. Immediately the theocracy beg for the confession, and have the pride of saying John Proctor confessed. “God be praised! It is a provenance! Proctor will confess.”
Rebecca nurse is brought in to witness Proctors confession, who is utterly ashamed of as he is aware she would never tell a lie “Proctor turns his face to the wall”. When Danforth begins to question Proctor on his activity with the devil, he refuses to name anyone, prompting the authorities to question the validity of his statement. This shows the beginning of Proctor integrity emerging, and his reluctance to create a believable lie. “i speak my own sins; i cannot judge another. I have no tongue for it”. Eventually, he signs the confession but objects to the theocracy taking the document and publishing it publically, as he is so ashamed of his crime. “God does not need my name nailed upon the church!” in a moment of epiphany, Proctor tears up the paper after realising that this lie will never leave him and his life but will cost him his dignity and respect. He knows he won’t be able to raise his children to be honest if he has already lied and sacrificed his friends “how may i teach them to walk like men in the world, and i have sold my friends!” He begs the authorities to leave him his name, and not force him to literally sign the confession, thus taking his word for it. His name is his for life, and he yearns for it to be cleared “i have given you my soul; leave me my name!”
Hale begs Elizabeth to stop Proctor, as he thinks “it is pride, it is vanity” and wants Proctor to stay alive for his family. At this climatic point Hale is utterly against the theocracy but just wants to persuade the accused to lie so they can spare their lives however Elizabeth knows she cannot change his mind, and in fact does not want to change it, as she is aware that her husband has finally found his