Evan FerreeThibadeau/ English/ 11 th 10/21/04 Although the sole basis of the Salem Witch Trials was deception, there were still the few skeptics who found hope of truth during the fabricated ordeals. The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller that depicts the dramatized happenings of the Salem Witch Trials during the time of the McCarthy trials. In Miller's play, the character Elizabeth Proctor is one of the only characters in the whole play who is associated with the truth in a time of delusion. The honest and loyal attributes of Elizabeth allow her to represent the truth throughout the pandemonium of the trials. Elizabeth Proctor's continued loyalty to John throughout the play displays her acceptance of the truth. After questioning Proctor about the conditions of Abigail's dismissal, Elizabeth lies to the judge in order to save her husband (223).
The character of Elizabeth Proctor is constantly associated with the truth, so when she lies in order to protect her husband she is demonstrating extreme loyalty to him. Not only does this illustrate her loyalty to John but also the sacrifice of her own beliefs in order to protect him. After John has been arrested and is faced with the choice to lie and be spared, or stand his ground and be hanged, Elizabeth tells Proctor, "Do what you will. But let none be your judge. There be no higher judge under heaven than Proctor is" (236). By telling John to stand by his decision regardless of outside opinion, she is also demonstrating loyalty to both John and his decisions.
Not only did Elizabeth show her association with the truth by her loyalty to John but also with her suspicion of John and her inquisitions for the truth. Elizabeth's suspicion toward John's relationship with Abigail shows her desire for the truth. After Elizabeth catches John in a lie about his time spent with Abigail, he tells Elizabeth that, "I'll not have your suspicion anymore" (193). This statement shows John's observations of Elizabeth's suspicion into his relationship with Abigail even after the dismissal of her from their house. Despite the fact that John resents her suspicion, this still exemplifies her sought of the truth. I act four Elizabeth tells John, "Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should show my love" (236).
Elizabeth is expressing her guilt for not being able to satisfy John with affection because of her suspicion. Elizabeth's suspicions, although ill conceived, were merely her desires for the truth from John. Both her loyalty to John and her suspicion of his relationship with Abigail are Elizabeth's continued connection to the truth but also the fact that she is constantly associated with the truth throughout the play. Not only does Elizabeth search for and accept the truth but she also is the embodiment of truth throughout the play. Multiple times in the play Elizabeth is referred to as incapable of lying, "I do wonder on it when such a woman that never lied and cannot, and the world knows she cannot" (200).
This statement from John further connects Elizabeth with the scarcely present truth in this play. The fact that her own husband trusts that she will tell the truth, enough to accuse him herself accentuates the extreme honesty of her character. This connection is identified again later in the story, "In her life she have never lied" (221). These two statements of Elizabeth's honesty associate Elizabeth with the truth throughout the play.
The honest and loyal aura that seems to surround Elizabeth associates her with the truth throughout the trials. Both her actions and other's opinions are consistent with that of almost never failing honesty. The underlying purpose of this play is emphasized by the presence of Elizabeth in this play.