How Is Elizabeth Presented In The Crucible

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Elizabeth Proctor is famed as a character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Lesser known is the fact that before Miller wrote his novel, Elizabeth Proctor lived and breathed. She was a married woman with two children and one soon to come. Her husband was hanged during the witch trials before she gave birth. However, the true Elizabeth and the character in Miller’s work are not necessarily one in the same.
The real Elizabeth and her fictional representation went through the same trials and tribulations. Both made the same choices and dealt with their consequences. Elizabeth and her character were similar in their experiences, inconsistencies in Arthur Miller’s writing aside. However, the book only shows a snapshot of Goody Proctor’s life. In 1652, she was born in Lynn, Massachusetts to parents William Bassett and Sarah Burt. Elizabeth continued to live in this town until she married John Proctor in 1674, when she moved to Salem. Her grandmother, Ann Bassett Burt, was a midwife and a Quaker who was accused and acquitted for witchcraft, which may have contributed to the townspeople’s
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However, it never painted an entire picture of her character. She was John’s third wife, and his second Elizabeth. The court did not have her hanged as she was pregnant at the time. Even when she gave birth to a baby boy, John Proctor III, on January 27, 1693, she was not executed. Governor Phipps of Massachusetts cleared her and the other remaining prisoners of the trials on February 21. Elizabeth left the jail still dead in the eyes of the law. She spent years in court attempting to reclaim her personal rights and her husband’s property. John had not mentioned Elizabeth in his will, leaving her penniless after his death. After a long and arduous case, the court restored Elizabeth’s rights on April 19, 1697. The last recorded history of Goody Proctor is her marriage to Daniel Richards on September 22,