Procuring the Personality of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Procuring the Personality of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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“Difficult times show true colors, hard times reveal true friends, and the good will be blessed through the pain.” This quote from an anonymous speaker holds truth for any human. Readers of The Crucible do not have to wonder how the majority of the main characters behave or how they treat others.. However, Elizabeth Proctor is the one character that Arthur Miller does not inform readers about. They are solely given the knowledge of Abigail’s dismissal from being the Proctor’s servant and her husband, John’s, affair. Unlike all the other characters in Miller’s drama, we know not whether she is an angry, vengeful woman or a reserved pacifist. However, by the time the reader finishes the story, they know her to be a woman of integrity who is capable of loving beyond anything. She puts the desires of those whom she loves above her own personal wants for them.
The first impression we get of Elizabeth is from Abby speaking to her uncle in Act One, “...I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman.” (171) Readers may get the idea that Elizabeth is that cruel, controlling housewife that Abigail describes. The phenomenon of coldness reciprocates in her argument with John. She has lost her trust in him. He had told her that he was amongst others when Abigail confronted him. She had just learned that they were alone, and is requesting that her husband affronts his former mistress. However, Elizabeth has many noble and honorable qualities. Although she is not born into a royal family and lives in a building society, she establishes her dignity with her audience when Cheever comes to imprison her. She gives instructions after telling John she’ll go to the prison:
“Mary, there is bread enough for the morning; yo...


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...e curtain closes and the drums roll in the distance, “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him.” (240)
As stated earlier, Arthur Miller does not explain Elizabeth to the reader as he did with the other main characters. He made his audience figure out for themselves who she was and what sort of personality she procured. Unlike all the others, she has to make a character for herself. By the time the reader finished the story, they knew her to be exactly what she would want. She brought her audience to know her as a woman of integrity; strong, eternal love; selflessness; and caring. She brought the readers to loving her almost as much as she loves her husband and her children. She brought them with her through her struggles and showed readers that a tragic hero does not have to be royal. One simply needs to dignify herself and make the audience love her.

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