The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

The Crucible book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are Elizabeth and John Proctor's motivations throughout The Crucible

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,223 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

I disagree with the above post. I don't think Elizabeth was trying to make John feel guilty about his marital infidelity. She is clearly hoping to impress him with her cooking in Act II, as she says that she "took great care" with the rabbit stew; she also tells him that the "magistrate sits in [his] heart that judges [him]," and that she does not. And we know that she cannot lie. To me, Elizabeth seems to be motivated by the desire to get her relationship back on track -- though she struggles to trust her husband again -- and for the trials to end (and for Abigail Williams to be known for the liar that she is). It is she who prompts John to go to the court and tell them what Abigail told him -- that Betty's illness has nothing to do with witchcraft -- though he is reluctant.

John's motivation, on the other hand, changes throughout the play. Initially, he is concerned with not only getting his marriage back on track (as is his wife) but also with protecting his reputation. He doesn't...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 557 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial