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

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John and Elizabeth Proctor are husband and wife in The Crucible.  They are farmers on the outskirts of Salem, and they have three sons.  At the beginning of the novel, their relationship is strained because of John's affair with Abigail.  John says he is sorry to Elizabeth numerous times; however, Elizabeth is having a hard time forgiving him.  John calls her "cold" towards him.  It is normal that it would be hard to forgive your husband for cheating, and John needs to be more patient with Elizabeth.  When he comes home with news about witchcraft in Salem, and the main accuser is Abigail, Elizabeth gets worried that she will be named a witch.  Her fears come true, and she is arrested.  When brought before the judges to answer questions about the relationship between John and Abigail, Elizabeth lies and says that John has been faithful.  This goes against her values for she has never been known to lie.  John steps in and tells Elizabeth that he has (finally!) already confessed.  Both are arrested; Elizabeth to spend time in jail because she is pregnant, and John to be hanged if he denies God and doesn't sign a petition that states he is a witch.  At the end of the play, there is a touching scene where John and Elizabeth profess their love for each other with Elizabeth understanding why John cannot sign the petition.  John is hanged, and Elizabeth is later set free to live without John.

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The Crucible

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