List the characteristics of Elizabeth Proctor and explain which side of her personality she shows to the Reverend Hale in The Crucible?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is apparent in Act II that Elizabeth Proctor harbors resentment against her husband for his adultery. When John Proctor returns home, he makes great effort to be solicitous of his wife as there is tension between them. Still, Elizabeth does not "bring some flowers in the house" as her husband urges. She is virtuous and quiet, she lacks the spirit that has probably attracted her husband to the spirited Abigail. Nevertheless, Elizabeth is determined to eliminate Abigail from their lives. When John is hurt that she accuses him of not being "open" with her, she replies,

ELIZABETH ....I never thought you but a good man, John--only somewhat                                bewildered.

PROCTOR       Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!....Do you mock                            me?

After Mary Warren, their housekeeper returns, Elizabeth concludes that Abigail will denounce her as a witch so that she can take Elizabeth's place. Moreover, she insists that Proctor assure that she be his wife or "no wife at all."


When Reverend Hale arrives in the dark, Elizabeth does not take him out of her sight. And, as Rev. Hale questions John about their church attendance, she interjects , without any objection from her husand, 

ELIZABETH  I think, maybe, we have been too hard with Mr. Parris. I think so.  But sure we never loved the Devil here.

Then, when Mr. Hale intimates that the Proctors are not good Christians by asking her if she knows the Commandments, Elizabeth bristles,

ELIZABETH I surely do. There be no mark of blame upon my life, Mr. Hale. I am a convenanted Christian woman.

Further when Hale hedges around, saying that theology can have no cracks in it, Elizabeth can no long restrain herself,

ELIZABETH Mr. Hale. He turns. I do think you are suspecting me somewhat ? Are you  not?"