What is the significance of the stage direction [He has lifted her, and kisses her now with great passion] in Act 4? and how does it emphasize Proctor and Elizabeth's love?no

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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This scene makes it clear that John and Elizabeth have reconciled after their previous estrangement. The play's early scenes show a good deal of tension between them, with John commenting that Elizabeth's justice "would freeze beer," referring to her coldness towards him since his affair with Abigail was revealed. Elizabeth also admits to her husband during his imprisonment that she "kept a cold house" meanings he was not affectionate enough. This moment near the play's end shows that the depth of their affection is rekindled when the gravity of their situation is made clear, and the pain and anger of the past is forgotten and forgiven, in the knowledge that either of them could still be put to death or die in prison. They realize the importance of communicating to one another and demonstrating their emotions: a key theme in the play, which questions the Puritanical repression of sexuality, since it is this repression that helps foster an atmosphere of jealousy and mistrust in the community.

 

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