What is the allusion in this statement from Miller's play The Crucible?"She has an arrow in you yet, John Proctor, and you know it well!"-Elizabeth

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literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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To begin, one must understand what an allusion is. An allusion, according to eNotes, is

a reference, usually brief, often casual, occasionally indirect, to a person , event, or condition thought to be familiar (but sometimes actually obscure or unknown) to the reader.

Therefore, the allusion made in Miller's play The Crucible is one which heavily depends upon a reader's, or watcher's, historical knowledge of the symbolism of an arrow.

Historically, the use of an arrow refers to Cupid (the Roman mythological figure who was the god of desire). Without this knowledge, the allusion would be lost to a reader.

Therefore, the allusion which Elizabeth is making is that John is in love with Abigail. Abigail, mirroring the actions of Cupid, has put an arrow in John's heart which results in him loving her. Elizabeth is trying to let John know that she feels as if the affair is not really over. Elizabeth wants John to know that she feels as if Abigail still has power over John and his heart. The affair between John and Abigail has bound them in ways Elizabeth cannot understand. Instead, she of trying, she simply makes the reference to Cupid (which speaks to the fact that Cupid sometimes puts arrows into some who fail to understand how/why they feel as they do about someone else.)

 

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zayhjay's profile pic

zayhjay | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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The affair between John and Abigail has bound them in ways Elizabeth cannot understand. Instead, she of trying, she simply makes the reference to Cupid (which speaks to the fact that Cupid sometimes puts arrows into some who fail to understand how/why they feel as they do about someone else.)

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