Premium Essay

Elizabeth Proctor's Lies In The Crucible

Submitted By
Words 480
Pages 2
According to The Crucible, lying is a constant factor in the play, and it always ends in destruction. Take Elizabeth Proctor, for example. In the beginning, she found lying a horrid thing to do; however, when the play starts to develop into the witch trials, she results in lying and basically kills her husband in the process. Although Elizabeth Proctor doesn’t change as much as other characters, her refinement did show the reader how lying is never the way to go as well as the beginning of John’s destruction.
Prior to the story, one of the main conflicts is the affair between John Proctor and Abigail Williams. As his wife, Elizabeth knows of his affair: “I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you. I never thought you but a good man, John, only somewhat bewildered” (Miller 18). Even when Proctor cheats on her, she does not sully his good name. Her actions are not immoral; therefore, it presents her as a rightful woman. Nevertheless, her reputable standard foreshadowed the inevitable. …show more content…
To make the court believe Elizabeth’s words are truthful, he states, “In her life, sir, she have never lied. There are them that cannot sing, and them that cannot weep—my wife cannot lie” (Miller 45). Now, her verity was never mentioned until this part of the play, but it was implied that Elizabeth is a good woman. She was only viewed as such, so when John mentions to the court that she is an honest person, no one expects anything of it. However, that generalization suddenly changes when they call upon her as

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Self Preservation In The Crucible

...In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Self-Preservation is very common in the town of Salem. Self-Preservation is when a person protects themselves or someone else, whether it be by telling the truth or a lie. In the town of Salem many people use Self-Preservation to protect themselves from the consequences of performing witchcraft. However, others may use Self-Preservation to protect their reputation or image in society, such as Reverend Parris. He himself started, what is called a chain of self-preservation when he reported Abigail Williams and the girls performing witchcraft. This led to Abigail having to use self-preservation to protect herself from the consequences of witchcraft which later on led Elizabeth Proctor to protect herself and her...

Words: 1167 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...The Crucible Act Three Questions Short Response Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of the drama. Write a response on a separate sheet of paper. 1. Describe one piece of evidence that Giles, Francis, or Proctor bring before the court to show that the girls are lying. 2. What does Abigail do to distract Danforth from Hale’s accusations that she is lying? 3. How does Hale show that he believes that the court is not doing the right thing? Use three details from the text in your response. 4. Danforth explains that “. . . a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between.” What conclusion can you draw about Danforth’s character from this line? 5. How does Hale excuse Elizabeth’s lie about Abigail’s affair with Proctor? 6. Danforth explains that witchcraft is an invisible crime and that only the victims are reliable. How does his philosophy flame the hysteria? Use details from the drama to support your response. 7. How do Hale and Parris try to thwart each other, or act as foils, in regards to Danforth and the court? Use details from the drama to support your response. 8. Describe the point at which you think the plot reaches its highest intensity, or climax. 9. After the outbreak in court, Mr. Danforth makes the following short statement to Mr. Hale: I will have nothing from you, Mr. Hale! In your own words, describe what Mr. Hale has said or done to instigate Mr. Danforth’s...

Words: 3241 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Similarities Between Abigail Williams And Elizabeth Proctor

...The Crucible, is a play by Arthur Miller about the Salem witch trials, which occured in the early 1690s in Massachusetts. Throughout the historical play, Miller shows many different characters, but some, like Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor are easily comparable. Although Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams are distinguishable when it comes to morals and views of religion, there are a few similarities, like their love of John Proctor and their hatred for each other that make them so alike. Elizabeth and Abigail have many different beliefs in the way they live their lives. Unlike Elizabeth, Abigail is very manipulative and rude to the people she talks to. People in the town are scared of her because she is accusing people of witchcraft....

Words: 576 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

John Proctor's Lies In The Crucible

...In Arthur Millers, The Crucible, the Salem witch trails occurred. In Salem, while the Salem witch trials were occurring, the citizens tell many lies. This is one thing that led to the mass hysteria that defined the Salem witch trials. It also led to many conflicts between the characters in this book. This is because in the eyes of the puritans anyone who was involved in “witchcraft” was against the church and thought to be communicating with Satan and deserved death. One of the conflicts that occurred in The Crucible was between John Proctor and himself. Because lying is a sin and in turn causes negative effects, John Proctor is forced to face the reality and the consequences of his deceitfulness. In the play The Crucible, John Proctor, the main character, endures multiple inner conflicts. He believes his affair with Abigail Williams, another citizen of Salem, has permanently damaged him and his worthiness in the eyes of God. After scolding Elizabeth Proctor, his wife, for continuing to be suspicious of his actions with Abigail and not giving him forgiveness, Elizabeth expresses that she does not judge him, but that it is, “The magistrate sitting in [his] heart that judges [him].” Lying is a recurring theme in The Crucible and Proctor’s actions with the affair is an example of this....

Words: 547 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

John Proctor's Motivation In The Crucible

...Uncontrolled Excitement in an Authoritative Society The 1600s in New England represented a time of fear and suspicion that culminated in the persecution of those considered blasphemous as witches. Through The Crucible, Arthur Miller describes the irrational behaviour of people in “all classes”(Miller 7) from Salem, Massachusetts during this time of misdemeanor. Many characters throughout the play incriminate others due to bitterness and jealousy. For instance, Abigail indicted her former lover, John Proctor’s, wife. Ultimately the corrupted men and women of Salem reached their goal of hanging the pure, which leads to hysteria amongst the townsfolk. Although John Proctor begins the play as an ambivalent and uncertain man, who is paralyzed...

Words: 1325 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Why Is John Proctor Ideal In The Crucible

...No, I do not believe that John Proctor’s design to hang instead of admitting that he was consorting with the devil is an act of excessive pride or stubbornness. I instead believe that John Proctor is the tragic hero of the Crucible and that his decision to choose principle over self preservation was an honorable act with the goal of affirming his goodness before God. In the second act of the Crucible, the audience first meets the character of John Proctor while he is in his home with his wife Elizabeth. The reader’s initial reaction of Proctor is that he is a benevolent husband as he states “I mean to please you Elizabeth” (50) and is otherwise kind and respectful towards his wife. However, as the act progresses, the reader comes to find out...

Words: 1021 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Migration of My Dad's Stupid Job

...The Crucible Act Four Questions Short Response Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of the drama. Write a response on a separate sheet of paper. 1. Where does Tituba think that the Devil is going to take her? 2. Give one example of how Abigail shows her dishonesty in this act. 3. What effect do the trials have on Salem? Use three details from the drama to support your answer. 4. When first arrives at the Salem jail, Danforth complains, “There is a prodigious stench in this place.” How might this line be read to mean something besides a comment on the smell? 5. How is Giles Corey’s character reflected in his death? Use one detail from the drama to support your response. 6. What qualities does Proctor find within himself that prevent him from at last saving himself and signing the confession? Use details from the text to support your response. 7. Explain how Proctor is right or wrong for refusing to sign the confession. Use details to support your response. 8. A tragic hero’s fate, according to Aristotle, inspires pity and horror. Name the tragic hero in The Crucible, and describe how his or her fate inspires both pity and horror. 9. People accused of being Communists had a difficult time getting jobs; some even moved out of the United States in order to try to resume normal lives. How is Proctor’s situation like that of the people accused of Communist activities? 10. Based on the conversation involving Tituba, Sarah...

Words: 2431 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Dramatic Irony In The Crucible

...“A man may be aware that there is something...hollow in his own way of life, but still lack the power to express it in memorable language.” (Prudhoe). In the Crucible, several people notice the obvious corruption that lies in the Salem witch trials, but are unable to fight it due to lack of power. In Act three of The Crucible (1953), Arthur Miller expresses his frustration at the perpetual power grab under the façade of justice. Miller uses juxtaposition, dramatic irony, and selective dialogue in order to show how when struggling to clear one’s name, cold-hard facts are often overlooked in exchange for the promise of influence. The purpose of the act is to demonstrate that in every play for power, there must be pawns to manipulate and facts...

Words: 1247 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Reverend Hale's Crucible

...In Act Four of The Crucible, Reverend Hale must confront and overcome his crucible. The magnitude of this is witnessed in his character: “Reverend Hale enters. They look at him for an instant in silence. He is steeped in sorrow, exhausted, and more direct than he ever was.” (pp 128-129, Act 4) Hale’s crucible is whether or not to follow the public and continue forcing people to confess witchcraft or to make known the madness of these hunts, since he knows these witch hunts and trials are irrational. This exemplifies Hale’s personal and gradual movement to candor rather than the accusation of more innocent individuals. Furthermore, it shows Hale’s first steps from the break from conformity. In this essay, I will explain the changes that occur in his character as he struggles with his crucible. Also, I will analyze a crucible that I have faced. Hale grows almost exponentially throughout the duration of Act Four in The Crucible. On page 130, Hale is trying to convince Danforth to postpone the trials of the accused: “Excellency, if you postpone a week… that speak mercy on your part, not faltering.” After Danforth’s response, including a discussion of the trials doing God’s work in Salem, Hale speaks his mind again and announces that Danforth is mistaken in his judgment. At this point Hale begins to realize what he must do. He must attempt to delay, if not halt these trials, in order to prevent people from hanging needlessly. Hale shows outright maturation and grows a backbone, so...

Words: 900 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

John Proctor Tragic Hero Characteristics

...A tragic hero is a person who has heroic qualities and is fated by the Gods or by some supernatural force for doom or at least to great suffering. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Salem was in a period of time where witch hunts were frequent which created chaos throughout the town. These witch hunts often targeted innocent, hard working people who were accused of witchery with no actual evidence. As a result when this conflict introduced itself to John Proctor, he exhibited tragic hero traits such as pride, catharsis, and nobleness. Pride plays an interesting role in the life of John Proctor in The Crucible. During the trials, Proctor daily wages an internal, war between his conscience and pride. His prideful mindset is what primarily caused his downfall; a person who rises and falls because of their own ignorant flaw, which is the true meaning of a tragic hero. Therefore there are several traits that exemplify a tragic hero in John...

Words: 800 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Human Nature In The Crucible

...People can better understand human nature from Studying The Crucible. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller there is a group of girls and one of them in Abigail who is the main antagonist in the story. The group of girls was seen in the woods doing “witchcraft”. Abigail and the girls are accused of witchcraft. The group of girls start to name other women in the town like John Proctor's wife. Abigail picks her mainly because she wants John Proctor for herself since John and Abigail had an affair previously. Now the girls accuse other people in the town to draw less attention to them and try to keep their names good. By studying The Crucible and other resources people can better understand that people are greedy and are quick to blame. In “The...

Words: 1084 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

A Condemned Man’s Secret to Peace

...26 November 2012 A Condemned Man’s Secret to Peace In The Crucible, set in the Puritan village of Salem, John Proctor is a conflicted man of varying emotions, and makes decisions which end up costing him dearly, unlikely for someone who goes out of his way to avoid trouble and being held accountable for it. One basis of Proctor’s guilty conscience is that he has had an affair with Abigail Williams, thus committing adultery because of his relationship with Elizabeth Proctor. Adultery, set is The Crucible, in the Puritan community of Salem, is more than a crime; it is a wrongdoing that has very serious implications and is punishable by death. With this guilty conscience, there are also witchcraft proceedings ongoing in Salem, and Proctor eventually will have to make decisions regarding taking the action that is morally fulfilling and telling the truth about the witchcraft trials to the judges. Although in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor’s actions have led to his moral degradations and a heavy conscience, he makes the choices of telling the truth and doing what is right when he admit that he had committed lechery with Abigail, when he brought Mary Warren to the court with him to confess the truth, and by giving up his life in order to keep his name in good standing. Even as it goes against everything John Proctor strives for, he admits his secret to the court, just like he had done earlier with Elizabeth, thus subjecting himself to ridicule and punishment. Proctor...

Words: 1726 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Thematic Questions 1. What is a crucible and how is it used? Justify Miller’s choice of title for his play. A crucible is a ceramic container that can withstand very high temperature and is used for metal, glass and pigment production as well as a number of modern laboratory processes. Miller’s choice of the title “The Crucible” is due to the same reason as the courtroom being referred to as a crucible: using the heat of questioning and scrutiny, they burned away all the impurities, i.e. lies and half-truths, to get the purified product the “truth”. 2. How do Hale’s preconceptions influence his interpretation of events? How does his interpretation change? What are the implications of his conversion? Hale’s preconceptions has influenced his interpretation of events in that he initially thought that he had the authority over the town due to his extensive knowledge of witchcraft. He expected to find witches, however his interpretation changes throughout the play as he realises that innocent townspeople are being falsely accused, such as John Proctor. The implications of his conversion are when he encourages the accused to confess, i.e. the good people to lie, even though he believes that he is doing the “Devil’s work”. 3. Proctor calls Hale “Pontius Pilate.” Explain the allusion. Do you agree or disagree? The allusion is that Pontius Pilate was the ruler in Bethlehem who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at the order of the Jewish leadership, despite the...

Words: 1570 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

The Crucible Abigail Williams Analysis

...Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, Mrs. Putnam and Abigail Williams have hidden motivations fueling the Salem witch trials by making false accusations against people causing mass hysteria in the village.  Mrs. Ann Putnam has experienced seven of her children die at childbirth in which she is in desperate need to find a justifiable reason. She argues with Rebecca Nurse because of Rebecca’s success in childbearing, Mrs. Putnam says, “You think it God’s work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I bury all but one? There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires!” (Miller 26). Mrs. Putnam does not understand why God would punish her by losing so many children and someone else like Rebecca have luck in...

Words: 648 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Revolution In Salem: John Proctor In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

...Proctor The Crucible was a pay that was written by Arthur Miller in 1952 because he was accused of being a communist and he didn't agree with McCarthyism. During the Cold War many were accused of McCarthyism, which is making accusations without proper evidence, and Arthur Miller was a victim of this. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as an allegory to McCarthyism. Arthur Miller wrote about people being accused of involvement with witchcraft. Throughout the play The Crucible many of the characters are changing because of what is happening around them, with everyone getting accused of witchcraft. One of the main dynamic characters, a character that has a significant change in attitude, personality, or behavior, in this play is John Proctor. John Proctor is a considered an honest man in Salem. In the first two or three acts we see that John Proctor could be considered non-religious. John Proctor wasn’t very religious...

Words: 926 - Pages: 4