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How does Elizabeth show her forgiveness to John?

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jepakh | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM via web

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How does Elizabeth show her forgiveness to John?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the last scene of play is where there is a sense of reconciliation between both Elizabeth and John.  She ends up recognizing that he has"finally has his goodness."  In this moment, there is forgiveness as she recognizes how John has changed.  When makes this ultimate sacrifice for "his name," Elizabeth grasps the dignity that John possesses.  It is at this moment that she is reminded of her words to him at the outset of Act II in terms of how the "magistrate" resides in "his heart."  When John stands for his name and is no longer afraid of doing so, she acknowledges this magistrate that exists within him.  It is here where she stands by his decision, even though it will cause her to be a widow and her children to lose their father.  Elizabeth recognizes this "goodness."  In this, she shows forgiveness to John.  At this moment, there is reconciliation between both of them as well as a sense of forgiveness.  There is little in way of resentment and the cold and detached nature she held at the start of the play is absent now, as her husband walks to his death.

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