Was Elizabeth right in refusing Hale's pleas to change Proctor's mind?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another aspect worth considering here is the Puritan mindset. They had so many rules and ways to act and guilt was placed upon any who did not act accordingly. Thus, John's church attendance and the abilities to recite commandments were brought to he and his wife's attention when questioned in their home. Trivial, but some faiths act this way.

John has been dealing with this guilt for some time. Elizabeth knows it. For him to accept his fate meant that he could be free from guilt and die justly earning whatever retribution he needed to in order to receive what comes at the end of a faith life acted out accordingly: heaven. The circumstances were dire, and Elizabeth knew it. At least he died free.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think she was.  After all, as she says, "He have his goodness now.  God forbid I take it from him."

Througout the play, John Proctor has been wrestling with his conscience and with his feeling that he is not a good person.  He feels very guilty for cheating on his wife with Abigail and he feels he is just not as good a person as some others (Rebecca Nurse, for example).

Now that John has finally gotten to the point where he feels good about himself, Elizabeth feels, it would be wrong for her to take that from him.  This seems right to me because Elizabeth would not want to take her husband's peace of mind from him.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the play "The Crucible" Elizabeth Proctor has been accused as a witch by Abigail, a former employee, who had an affair with John Proctor, Elizabeth's husband.  Elizabeth has been arrested and faces death by hanging.

Elizabeth has two children at home who have been cared for by friends.  She is a good woman and identifies the unnecessary level of evil that has been the outcome of Abigail's testimony.  She is already aware that her fate has been sealed by Abigail.  She does not want to see her husband die as well and their children left without both parents.  In addition, she does not want Abigail to have more victims.  Therefore, she remains stoic in her testimony.


Read the study guide:
The Crucible

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