Analyzing Arthur Miller's Play The Crucible
In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, John and Elizabeth Proctor are introduced as a young, married couple whose relationship had a tense undercurrent. Their actions and reactions towards one another prove that they are at odds with each other. John and Elizabeth seem to be trying to smooth out the bumps in their relationship, but for the most part they only succeed in driving themselves further apart. Now at a time when communication is crucial, John and Elizabeth learn the mistake they made in not getting to know each other better.
After months in jail, Elizabeth Proctor was called into the courtroom to answer a series of questions that could determine the fate of her husband, herself, and Abigail Williams. Elizabeth Proctor was asked to accuse her husband of lechery. The hesitation in Elizabeth's response to this question was not a surprise. She was fighting a battle inside of herself that only she knew the depth of. It was up to her to make a decision that she know would change her life and the lives of others. To the question of lechery put before her, Elizabeth Proctor chose to answer "no".
Elizabeth answered "no" for a number of reasons. The biggest was the respect she had for her husband. She wanted John to reveal his sin on his own. She felt it wasn't her place to reveal the wrong in his life. Elizabeth also believed that she was part of the reason John chose to have an affair with Abigail. Before John was to sign his confession, Elizabeth asked him to forgive her for being a cold wife. Elizabeth truly believed she was the reason behind John's affair with Abigail. This proves that Elizabeth really did love John although there were times hen it wasn't evident in her words and actions. She respected and trusted him to such an extent that she allowed him to decide when he would let the community know of his sin.
John Proctor also loves his wife deeply. This is shown through his actions at the end of the play. With the decision he is about to make at hand, he wants to know what Elizabeth would have him do. It is her desires that he is concerned about because he realizes this decision will affect her too. After ripping up his confession, John grabs Elizabeth and gives her the last kiss of his life. It was not passion that drove him but pure love. Through this kiss he let Elizabeth know everything that he had been keeping in his heart during his time in jail in more. Through this kiss, Elizabeth knows that John loved her and cherished her more than before.
It is evident throughout the play tat displays of affection aren't very common in the Proctor household. That is common in many marriages and households today. It is also common that it isn't until something drastic happens that those who love each other find out how much they really mean to each other. This is what happened in the Proctor's situation. John and Elizabeth didn't realize what they meant to each other until they were thrown into jail and John was on the verge of losing his life.
John and Elizabeth Proctor realize their love for each other at the end of the play. Although they both realize they won't be able to share it, they are overjoyed with this new discovery. Elizabeth realizes that John loves her and John realizes that Elizabeth loves him and that he does indeed have her forgiveness. This gives him the push he needs to make the right decision. In the time when John and Elizabeth's relationship must be strong, they pull through and come out the victors.
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