Who is called to back up John's testimony, what happens? the question is in the third act of the book

Expert Answers info

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,420 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

John has told the magistrates about his sexual relationship with Abigail in order to convince them that she has ulterior motives for making her accusations against his wife, Elizabeth. John tells Danforth,

She thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore's vengeance, and you must see it . . .

When Danforth tells John that Elizabeth claims to be pregnant, John swears that Elizabeth has never told a lie in her life, that she may not even be able to do so. Now, in light of John's confession of lechery, Danforth calls Elizabeth to the court to see if her testimony regarding Abigail's dismissal from their employ matches John's. When she arrives, Danforth asks, "For what cause did you dismiss [Abigail]?" Elizabeth is torn between telling the truth, because she is an upright and truthful woman, and lying to protect her husband's reputation; she does not know that he has already confessed. When Danforth asks her, "Is your husband a lecher[?]" she replies, faintly, "No, sir." Elizabeth's desire to protect John trumps all else, and she lies to shield him, not knowing that her lie will actually damn him in the eyes of the court.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-t eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write61 answers

starTop subject is Literature

Elizabeth is called in to corroborate the story; however, she senses that what she says will have profound consequences for her husband. Elizabeth, not knowing that John has confessed, and allowed no help from him, is torn. When forced to answer directly if John is a lecher, she denies it to save his name. John now stands accused of falsehood.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


slore | Student

Elizabeth Proctor is called to back up John's testimony. John expects her to tell the court about the affair, but because she has no clue wether or not to tell she hesitates when questioned about Abigail's reason of why she kicked Abigail out. She doesn't tell Danforth what truly happened because she knew that if she told him about the affair John and Abigail had, there will be consequences for John.

 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial