The Crucible : Character Profiles - Elizabeth Proctor

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Elizabeth Proctor
Character Profile ­ Elizabeth Proctor
Opening Impression:
Elizabeth plays a key role in the play in terms of plot development. Were it not for Abigail's vicious desire to
have Proctor to herself the conjuring in the woods the discovery of which started the witch hunts would
never have happened.
Elizabeth is pivotal in creating what is probably the most dramatic moment in the whole play when she lies in
the court room intending to save her husband's good name but, ironically, destroying his hopes of over
throwing the court.
Her admission that `it takes a cold heart to prompt lechery' goes some way towards excusing his affair with
Abigail and his desperate attempts to save her reveal his tender and caring side.
Her refusal to tell him what to do reinforces how Proctor is ultimately in charge of his own fate.
Quotations & Analysis:
The first mention of Elizabeth is when Abigail was talking to Betty, Mary Warren and Mercy Lewis
Elizabeth's begins the play as the focus of Abigail's attempted witchcraft and ends the play as the victim of
Abigail's manipulative, `social witchcraft'
"That's well", "It must be", "Aye, it is"
Proctor and Elizabeth's bland interaction over dinner shows that their relationship has been strained by
Proctor's adultery.
They seem to act in a carefully controlled manner with no sense of comfortable warmth as each is trying to
please the other in an attempt to fix their problems.
As a result there is also something practiced and routine-like about their relationship at this stage, which
further reinforces the emotional distance between the two.
Elizabeth "receives" Proctor's kiss
The word `receives' clearly shows that Elizabeth has not yet forgiven Proctor as there is an element of
coldness and awkwardness about it signalling the absence of genuine affection.
"If it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now?"
Once again we can see that she is clear headed and sees through Proctor's excuses to the real reason that he
doesn't want to go to Salem to challenge Abigail.
We can see here that she is constantly judging Proctor and has not yet forgiven him for his affair with Abigail.
"Do as you wish then"
Her dismissiveness here reveals a disappointment with Proctor and
Miller is using Elizabeth's coldness towards Proctor to help us judge him more lightly.
"I am a good woman, I know it; and if you believe I may do only good work in the world, and yet be secretly
bound to Satan, then I must tell you, sir, I do not believe it"
Here Elizabeth comes across as outspoken about her beliefs ­ she will not be told what to believe, nor will
she believe something for show simply because it is what is expected of her, which shows a clear strength
within her character.
"Oh John, bring me soon"
GCSE English Literature Exam Notes

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Elizabeth Proctor
The first dialogue between Elizabeth and Proctor which carries emotional language.
The delivery of this line on stage, with body language and a certain breathlessness, could convey feelings
between Proctor and Elizabeth that were not visible during the preceding scene suggesting a depth to the
relationship that we had not previously suspected.
"As a warning reminder" "I promise nothing.…read more


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