Crucible Critical Essays

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If Arthur Miller was accurate in his portrayal of her character, one can only hope that her life was transformed by the fact that she learned she was loved.

Perhaps she felt not so plain and acted not so suspicious, for true love transforms the heart in ways that cannot be explained but only experienced.

Her motives were, in a morally secure world, wrong; yet they were so well-hidden that few saw through her guise of persecuted innocence.

If Abigail’s reasoning was illogical and her motives impure, her methods definitely tipped the scale against her character.

Perhaps Abigail was truly deluded, or perhaps very good at playing the part, even to John Proctor.

It is almost that, by that point in time, she had gone so far that, whether she believed in her lie or was deliberately faking it the whole time, she knew it would be suicide to stop there.It was all judgment and harsh rulings, the very element that Jesus called into question when he exposed the motives of the religious class of his time, the Pharisees.Elizabeth’s character represented, in a way, all those who grew up under the thumb of distorted belief systems.Her husband was willing to give his life, perhaps not exactly or entirely for her, but in a way his act represented that unselfish love.John Proctor’s love for his wife gave him the strength to confess his deeds with Abigail, and although it cast him in a bad light and brought him death, he chose rather to die for the love of his wife than to live without her.One pictures little joy in such a community and a one-sided approach to Christianity, which was more a form of Old Testament legalism without the promise of love and forgiveness.Never once in the story were concepts such as abiding joy, life abundant, or forgiving love mentioned.In the end, Elizabeth discovered that she truly was loved.Perhaps it was too little and too late, but her husband loved her.Miller portrayed that such illogical reasoning is dangerous or at the very least, counterproductive.Exploring the characters and motives of the two main women, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor, a rough microcosm comes into view, paralleling the message of the story as a whole.


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