Discuss the significance of the scenes between Elizabeth and John Proctor in "The Crucible".  What does it reveal them both? 

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lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Act I scene ii shows us the strained relationship between the two, demonstrating the tension that has hovered over their marriage for the seven months since Elizabeth discovered the affair between John and Abigail. As Elizabeth prepares his dinner, John tells of his trip into Salem to investigate the happenings concerning Ruth and Betty.  He lets it slip that he was speaking to Abigail alone when she told him what they had been doing in the woods.  Elizabeth begins to question him and he flares out, showing his frustration at her constant suspicion and at the little effect his attempts to fix their marriage seem to be having.  This scene also shows how Elizabeth is a mild-mannered, timid woman as well as how John has a quick temper and guilt over the situation he knows he caused.

If you are referring to the final scene in the play when the officials ask Elizabeth to plead with John for his confession, then this scene's significance is much different.  Here, we see Elizabeth fully open her heart and person to her husband, as she states "It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery", blaming herself for his affair, and then "John, I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me!  Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love.  It were a cold house I kept!"  Elizabeth cannot ask for his confession, knowing he is a good person and must trust his choice.

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