Is Elizabeth really pregnant in The Crucible?

Yes, Elizabeth likely is actually pregnant in The Crucible. Though Judge Danforth expresses some skepticism, Elizabeth is shown to be an honest and moral woman, which makes it unlikely that she's lying. In real life, Elizabeth Proctor was really pregnant during the Salem witch trials.

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Given all the lies and accusations in the play, including Elizabeth's concealment of John and Abigail's affair, it may seem that she's only pretending to be pregnant to avoid execution, as Judge Danforth clearly suspects. However, in this case, Elizabeth is more than likely telling the truth and really is...

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Given all the lies and accusations in the play, including Elizabeth's concealment of John and Abigail's affair, it may seem that she's only pretending to be pregnant to avoid execution, as Judge Danforth clearly suspects. However, in this case, Elizabeth is more than likely telling the truth and really is pregnant—just the real Elizabeth Proctor, upon whom this character is based, was.

In the play, Elizabeth avoids immediate execution when she announces her pregnancy. The Puritans would not execute a pregnant woman, as this would kill her innocent child as well. Though he's skeptical of her claims since she shows no physical signs of pregnancy, Judge Danforth agrees that if Elizabeth's pregnancy begins to show (thus proving that she's not lying), her execution will be postponed until after the birth:

if she begin to show her natural signs, you shall have her living yet another year until she is delivered—

Though this is certainly an incentive to lie, it's fair to assume that Elizabeth is being honest about her pregnancy because she is such a morally good, if emotionally cold, woman throughout the play. Never once does she never lie on her own behalf, even after she's been accused of witchcraft. The only time she lies is to deny that John had an affair with Abigail, sacrificing her own integrity in a futile attempt to save John. Elizabeth's belief in honesty is so powerful that she ultimately supports John's decision to die rather than make a false confession, refusing to try and dissuade him. Therefore, when Elizabeth says she is pregnant, we can rest assured she is telling the truth.

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