In Act 1 of "The Crucible," what has Elizabeth Proctor said about Abigail?

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Elizabeth Proctor feels antagonistic toward her former servant Abigail, who had an affair with her husband, calling her “something soiled.” Elizabeth, who is morally upright and a bit cold, won't sit near Abigail at church. She also hints to neighbors that Abigail is no saint without actually accusing her husband of adultery.

Elizabeth is convinced that Abigail would like her to die and wants to murder her. Elizabeth also accuses Abigail of vanity over her good looks, which is part of Elizabeth perceiving her former maid as a whore. Elizabeth also says she dismissed Abigail from service because she was a poor housekeeper. Abigail, in turn, calls Elizabeth “a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman.”

These kinds of bitter feelings lead to bigger problems later on. Abigail does try to frame Elizabeth as a witch, which is a way to try to murder or get rid of her.

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Elizabeth Proctor does not appear in Act I.  However, her opinion of Abigail is known from the conversation between John and Abigail. 

Elizabeth Proctor fired Abigail from their household because she found out that she and John were having an affair. 

It is in the beginning of Act II, that we hear Elizabeth's words for the first time in the play. 

Elizabeth knows that Abigail still wants her husband and that she would like Elizabeth dead. 

"She wants me dead, John you know it!" (Miller) 

She asks her husband to go and tell Abigail that she is a whore. 

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