Do Elizabeth's strength and honesty allow her to follow her heart?

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

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This is complex because Elizabeth is a complex character.  I think that I would have to agree that Elizabeth's strength and honesty enable her to follow what she believes is right.  I don't think this is the full case at the start of the drama.  When she is first seen in Act II, it is evident that the spectre of suspicion and doubt are cast onto her husband.  She has not fully recovered or healed from his transgression and cannot fully voice the thorough confidence in her husband when it comes to the subject of Abigail.  Yet, I think that as the drama continues, it is evident that this strength and honest enables her to do what she believes is right.  During the trial, she lies to protect her husband as she perceives it is what will allow him to live and to be exonerated.  In the act of lying, Elizabeth demonstrates what she believes to be right and does so in following her heart.  This is also seen in the final act of the drama. She shows a disdain for the court officers in Danforth and, to a lesser extent, in Hale when they try to convince her to get Proctor to confess.  In speaking with husband, she does not tell him what to do when he struggles with confessing a false confession to live.  When Proctor finally stands for his name, Elizabeth has the most amount of love and respect for him because of who he has become and in this, her strength is most evident.  She loves her husband so much and so much admiration for him that she will not object as he marches to his death.  While others like Hale demand that she stop him, she does not in the name of his own "goodness." Interestingly enough, it is at this point where her own "goodness" is on display to all and few, if anyone, can take this away.

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