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The Crucible Seminar

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Character revelation is how a character is portrayed to the audience. The relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor in Arthur Miller's, The Crucible is presented in two different stages throughout the play. The first stage is a troubled relationship lacking in chemistry. The second stage is that of acceptance, presenting a clear picture to the audience of the love between John and Elizabeth.

The First Stage

The relationship is cold, lacking in chemistry, it is very awkward.

There is a gap between John and Elizabeth that creates the coldness. Both are aware of this.

John says,

"You ought to bring some flowers in the house...It's winter in here yet." (51)

The relationship is awkward because neither John nor Elizabeth know how to talk to each other. Elizabeth is still suspicious of John. She says,

"Ð'- She doesn't want friction, and yet she must: You come so late I though you'd gone to Salem this afternoon." (51)

Elizabeth is constantly worried that John has gone to see Abigail.

John feels guilt for what he has done.

He feels that he will never live it down, and feels that Elizabeth will never forgive him.

John says,

"Spare me! You forget nothin' and forgive nothin'...I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone. I have not moved...without I think to please you,...I cannot speak but I am doubted..."(54-55)

This is also shown when he says,

"I see now your spirit twists around the single error of my life, and I will never tear it free!"(62)

He suffers from self-hate. John's guilt is shown when he cannot remember the commandment about adultery.

Elizabeth says,

"Adultery, John." (67)

He wants to make Elizabeth happy.

John says,

"If the crop is good I'll buy George Jacob's heifer...I mean to please you, Elizabeth."(50)

Lack of chemistry and trust, John's self-hate and guilt, and the uncertainty of how to speak to each other creates the gap between the two in the first stage presented to the audience.

The Second Stage

This stage starts around the end of Act Two.

Throughout the rest of the play, John and Elizabeth have time to think about what happened between them.

Both come to an acceptance.

John accepts himself, and his actions.

Elizabeth accepts what has happened and part of the blame.

This stage shows the true love and chemistry between the two.

John's passionate love for his wife is shown at the beginning of this stage.

John says when Elizabeth is being arrested,

"I will fall like an ocean on the court! Fear nothing, Elizabeth!"(78)

He plans to save her no matter what.

John's strong love is further shown when chains are placed on his wife.

He says,

"Damn you, man, you will not chain her! Off with them! I'll not have it! I will not have her chained!" (78)

His love, and his eventual acceptance of what he must do is shown when Proctor says,

"My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me!" (80)



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