The Crucible is one of the most bizarre accounts of a historical event to date. The naïveté of the townspeople leads them down a road of madness and confusion, led by a shameless Puritan girl. Abigail Williams was a ruthless girl who showed no mercy upon accusing her victims of witchcraft. Knowing the entire town of Salem would believe her and the other girls, she would not hesitate at charging anyone she wished with the crime of the Devil’s work. However, a challenge arose to Abigail when she decided to accuse Elizabeth Proctor, and eventually her husband John, of witchcraft. The Proctor marriage was not just any simple marriage; it had its times of cold shoulders, heartfelt truth, and undying love.
Indeed, Abigail had a strong motive for charging Elizabeth with evil divination. Seven months before the play takes place, Abigail and John had an affair while Abigail was working as a servant in their home. Eventually, John confessed and apologized to Elizabeth, pledging his fidelity to her. Nonetheless, at the time the play takes place, Elizabeth still hasn’t fully forgiven him, and gives him a hard time about it. Abigail confessed the pretense of her accusations to him when they were alone, and now he has no way to prove that she’s lying to the court. But because he was alone with her again,
Elizabeth becomes angry with him.
“ELIZABETH: You were alone with her?
PROCTOR, stubbornly: For a moment alone, aye.
ELIZABETH: Why, then, it is not as you told me.
PROCTOR, anger rising: For a moment, I say. The others come in soon after.
ELIZABETH, quietly-she has suddenly lost all faith in him: Do as you wish, then.
PROCTOR: Woman, I will not have your suspicion any more.
ELIZABETH: Then let you not earn it.”
Elizabeth still doubts her husband because she feels that if it were any other girl that he had to go testify against, he would not hesitate. But, because it’s Abigail, he feels he has to think harder on making a decision. John Proctor feels he is now justified in becoming angry because for the seven months since his confession, he has done nothing but try to please his wife, and she still approaches him with suspicion and accusations.
“PROCTOR: Spare me! You forget nothin’ and forgive nothin’. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone.