Name 3 things in  the relationship of John and Elizabeth that change throughout "The Crucible".

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tension changes as the play progresses with respect to John and Elizabeth's relationship. At the beginning of Act II, the tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Elizabeth has not forgiven John for his affair, and John is sick of trying to move on. He is walking on eggshells when he is with her, trying to keep the peace, yet inevitably, Abigail comes up, and the argument starts up again. Yet, as Elizabeth is accused and then John, they stop worrying about the past, and focus on where they are now, and what they have to lose.

Trust is another issue that changes in the relationship between the Proctors. Elizabeth becomes irate when she finds out that John had a conversation alone with Abigail at the Parris house. She does not want him anywhere near her, and she does not trust him. Yet, by the end of the play, she realizes that it was not Abigail that was the real problem, it was the two of them. She puts her trust issues away in the face of the real drama.

Ironically, their marriage is strengthened by the crisis. John and Elizabeth realize the strength of their bond when faced with her arrest and then his imminent execution, and this is vastly changed from the tense and cold feeling between them early in the play. They stand by each other in a unified way that was absent earlier in the play.