What is the relationship between John Proctor and Elizabeth in the story The Crucible?

For the most part, John and Elizabeth Proctor's relationship is strong and loving. But considerable strain has been placed upon their marriage by John's affair with Abigail Proctor. Nevertheless, although Elizabeth no longer completely trusts John, she does everything she can to protect his reputation. She even goes so far as to lie about his affair on oath. For his part, John challenges the court in an attempt to save Elizabeth from the gallows.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Proctors's fraught marriage complicates their lives considerably. It's not enough that they somehow have to live with the constant fear whipped up by the witch-hunting hysteria. They must also deal with problems on the home front. The direct cause of these problems is John's infidelity. John cheated on Elizabeth with Abigail Williams. When Elizabeth found out about the affair, she was suitably upset.

Although Elizabeth still loves John, she cannot completely trust him any longer. Inevitably this puts a considerable strain on their marriage. For his part, John's remorse over his infidelity leaves something to be desired. He seems to think that once he's confessed, that should be it; Elizabeth should forget about everything and move on as if nothing has happened.

But Elizabeth's not prepared to do that. She cannot and will not forget how John has betrayed her. At the same time, she still loves him enough to defend his reputation, even if it means committing perjury in open court.

As for...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 986 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on