Elizabeth in the Crucible

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lizaThe Crucible – Elizabeth
She is a good wife and woman. The only negative traits that she processes are that she can be somewhat self-righteous and insecure. Still, Elizabeth is considered a devoted wife as she took care of her home, prepared meals, did her chores, she was respectful of her marriage vows, had children and cared for them. However, after her husband's adultery she grew more distant from him, causing emotional distance in the marriage that grew worse with time, making her appear to be a cold woman. (as suggested by Abigail as a “cold, snivelling woman”) Proctor and Elizabeth are introduced as a married couple whose relationship had a tense undercurrent. Their actions and reactions towards one another prove that they are both at odds. Any attempt to open up to the other person is quickly stopped by some sort of interruption – “Now look at you –” “I see what I see, John” shows that Elizabeth has lost faith in Proctor. This all builds up the tension and bottles up the feelings in the relationship implying that they will burst out later in the play. Elizabeth’s self-righteous is expressed when she points out that the judge who mercilessly pursues Proctor is himself and in order for her to forgive him, he must first forgive himself. (Proctor’s guilt and sin made him feel judged in the house – “I cannot speak but I’m doubted, every moment judged for lies!”) – “I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.” Despite the fact that they seemed so distant and cold on the surface, Elizabeth loves Proctor deeply. This can be seen in one significant event in act 3. Dramatic irony is achieved as Elizabeth chooses to lie and protects Proctor’s name as she know how important reputation is to Proctor. Yet to save her husband’s name, she must condemn him for lechery. Elizabeth chooses dishonesty at the precise moment that integrity matters the most. “My husband – is a goodly man, sir.” In lying for John, she risks all.  First, she has a...
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