Who Is Elizabeth Proctor's Reputation In The Crucible

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The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, takes place in a Puritan town in Salem, Massachusetts. The play is about the Salem witch trials that took place between 1692 and 1693 and how out of fear and pressure, a group of teenage girls accused numerous women and men of participating in witchcraft. One of the women who was accused was Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor. Elizabeth Proctor had turned into a cold and frigid woman after finding out about John and Abigail William’s affair, but when Proctor tries to save her from being in the trials, Elizabeth’s surprising willingness to forgive him and protect his reputation by lying shows how much she loves and cares for him, even if it means letting him die. In the first stage …show more content…
Although Elizabeth has not forgiven Proctor for his affair, he is her husband, and she is a virtuous woman who feels a need to remain loyal to her husband. She is still a cold woman, but not cold enough to ruin her husband’s standing in the town for her own life. Elizabeth does not want to stain her own husband’s reputation so “not knowing what to say” she was “wetting her lips to stall for time” (104) when she was called into court to tell the judges about Abigail and Proctor’s affair. Elizabeth is having a difficult time determining whether to lie to the court to save Proctor’s life or to tell the truth and not sin but ruining Proctor’s reputation. When she decides, she decides out of the pressure of the others around her and lies to save Proctor’s reputation because she knows how important it is to him, even if it is a sin. In agony, she replies to Danforth asking her about Proctor cheating on her with the statement “my husband - is a goodly man, sir” (105). Her answer to Danforth’s question is indirect which shows that Elizabeth is trying to change the topic and is also staying loyal to her husband. Elizabeth has decided that she will protect her husband although the tension between them is not completely gone; she is willing to ignore the tension in order to save both of them. She is becoming more compassionate towards Proctor and is starting to care about him more. She knows that there is a possibility that Proctor will be killed for adultery and when he tells her he told the court, she is surprised and worried and exclaims, “oh, god” (105). Elizabeth’s reaction to the pressure coming from the court was to lie, and she realizes that the lie which was so hard for her to tell was done for nothing and got her husband