Things are tense between John and Elizabeth Proctor as The Crucible by Arthur Miller begins. We learn pretty quickly that John has had an affair with a former servant girl, Abigail Williams. Seven months ago Elizabeth felt this was happening and fired Abigail; John subsequently confessed everything.
Abigail reveals that all this talk of witchcraft is foolishness and declares she wants to restart the affair. Proctor refuses. He tells her:
Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind.
When act two opens eight days later, we see the Proctors together for the first time. Their conversation is stilted, and it is clear that things are still awkward between them.
Proctor, with a grin: I mean to please you, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth - it is hard to say: I know it, John.
He gets up, goes to her, kisses her. She receives it. With a certain disappointment, he returns to the table.
Both of them are trying, but things...
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