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Who said this "The Promise that a stallion gives a mare I gave that girl." Can you...

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cox5sf | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:23 AM via web

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Who said this "The Promise that a stallion gives a mare I gave that girl." Can you help???

I am a parent trying to help my 11th grader through a semester exam review. Can you help me?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:27 AM (Answer #1)

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That quote is spoken by John Proctor.  He is talking to his wife about what he did or did not promise to Abigail Williams.

What he means by this quote is that all he was doing was having sex with Abigail -- that there was no emotional commitment.  He did not promise her love or marriage anymore than a stallion promises a mare love or marriage when they mate.

This argument happens in Act II, Scene 1.  Elizabeth Proctor is telling her husband that he must break his promise to Abigail.  She says Abigail clearly believes that John loves her and has promised to love and/or marry her.  It is at this point that John speaks the words you cite.

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