Elizabeth Proctor is clearly a good woman, but how far do you think Miller wishes us to sympathise with her?    

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think Miller seeks to create a wide level of compassion and sympathy for Elizabeth.  He wishes for us to identify greatly with the character who attempts to maintain the love for her husband and family within the terrors of paranoid Salem.  Miller's conception of her character as one who is painfully human in her attempts to prevent the hysteria's impact on the community is enhanced by her unmistakeably human condition.  She believes that there is a "way out" of the nightmare enveloping Salem when she lies about her husband's relationship with Abigail.  In this action, we see how painful the social predicament truly is when an upstanding and moral woman must commit an immoral act of deception.  Miller's writing of Elizabeth is the ultimate testimony to how wrong a social order can be when it has lost its ethical compass for she is trapped, like Giles Corey, under its tremendous weight.

kkosach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miller makes Elizabeth a strong character so that the audience both sympathizes with her situation, but expects her to rise above and to be loyal to John.  Unlike many of the characers in The Crucible, Elizabeth is a victim of circumstance.  However,  she is a good, Christian woman who is strong enough to "turn the other cheek".  If Miller wanted Elizabeth to be whimpering and cowering, he would never have had Elizabeth confront John in Act II about whether he had seen Abigail lately, especially after she put Abigail out.

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The Crucible

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