The Relationship Between Proctor and Elizabeth in The Crucible

September 15, 2018 General Studies

In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible the relationship between Proctor and Elizabeth gradually improves throughout the play. At the beginning they are both extremely separate both physically and mentally. However the relationship in Act two starts to develop as Elizabeth rediscovers her love for him that, in my opinion, has always been there. This then grows even further in Act four when Proctor and Elizabeth’s relationship finally connects and their love is a lot more intense and passionate. By the end of the play both characters learn to forgive each other and are forgiven themselves as well as rediscovering the love they had between themselves they thought they lost.

Act 2
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In Act two Miller implies how cold Elizabeth can be towards Proctor. We are shown this when she states…

“Do as you wish, then”

1. Shows she is being extremely blunt.
2. She hasn’t forgiven him yet therefore putting relationship and passion on hold. 3. Feels like Proctor will not listen to her opinion anyways.

We are also shown her cold act towards Proctor in some of the stage directions when Proctor kisses her and she doesn’t kiss him back.

“She receives it”

1. Shows the love isn’t there at the moment(hidden)
2. EP doesn’t kiss him back – powerful message
3. Shows that the affair has make a massive impact( stopped the love) 4. She is still so upset because she loves him.

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Miller also uses symbolism frequently in Act two to develop the couples’ relationship. We are shown this in the stage directions when Miller shows us Proctors actions.

“Then he lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased” 1. The soup represents the relationship and how it is bland (-he is bored, wants some excitement added).

(LINK) We are then shown Proctor adding some salt to the pot conveying him deducting the boredom away from his relationship.

“He reaches to the cupboard , takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot”.

1. Abby and the affair represents the salt he adds.
2. He feels deprived from ‘fun and excitement’ – wants something new.

(LINK) Miller then follows on to state that Proctor…

“Washes his hands and face”

1. The soup he handled is representing the relationship- he added salt(excitement eg. Abby) – but still loves Elizabeth so doesn’t want to leave her so tries to remove the proof. 2. Proctor washing hands&face =washing proof of the ‘affair’ off himself.

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Here Miller uses their positioning on stage to show the awkwardness between the couple however it also represents the love that was always between Proctor and Elizabeth.

“He eats. She watches him”

1. Shows how awkward the relationship is because of the fact that she is watching his every move- no trust.

2. She is also not eating with him. (serving him) Shows the separation between them. (link with symbolism.. separation is shown by the different eating arrangements)

3. The fact that Elizabeth is watching her husband shows the longing she has towards him-) This could suggest that Elizabeth in fact always loved him deep down.This links in with the second quote

“ He turns to her and watches her”

1. This also conveys the longing he has towards EP.

2. Both of them want each other and they are always looking at each other when they aren’t aware. –( shows that they don’t have trust back yet they want each other. This suggests the love they’ve always had is there but hidden amongst broken pieces in the relationship).

Act 3
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Here Miller uses Act three to link the growing relationship between the couple from Act two to Act four. We are shown that Elizabeth has started to rediscover her love for Proctor as she protects him at the price of putting her name into dishonour, damning herself to hell ,as they believed.


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