The relationship of the Proctors changes throughout "The Crucible." How does this affect other characters and the play in general?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The relationship of the Proctors is so important in this play. It is a play based on morals and integrity, both of which are not possessed by John Proctor in the beginning. Although he has come clean with his wife, he has still committed a huge sin, especially during this era.

As the accusations begin, John confronts Elizabeth and her coldness, so each of their frustrations are on the table. Miller has timed it so that what is within their household is in contrast with what is going on in the town. Abigail is slowly picking people off, or one of the other girls is, and Elizabeth and John are slowly patching things up. It's a slow process, but when Elizabeth is confronted by the court on whether or not John committed adultery, she actually lies for him,which is out of character for her. But she does it for him. Meanwhile, innocent lives are being taken and put to death for nothing more than a plot of land or a long desired revenge.

John and Elizabeth even get pregnant, which is a sign of their love and devotion to each other, while the town is going mad, and Hale and the council are unconvincingly trying to keep control. The proctors are the center of the chaos, and with John's death comes clarity and morality. The one man who began this play in sin has come full circle to show that he is willing to die for his name. He "is not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang!" Together he and Rebecca Nurse are put to death, which brings the play to its conclusion.

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The Crucible

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