Elizabeth Foils In The Crucible

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How can a righteous lady and a vindictive woman both be drawn to the same man? Better said, how can one man be involved with such different women? Apparently, these mysteries will forever remain unsolved. However, Arthur Miller surely knows how to deal with this controversy in his play The Crucible, through the characters of Elizabeth and Abigail. These completely opposite women serve as foils for each other since the differences between them help highlight their individual persona. John Proctor represents the connection between these two women. Thus, he is Elizabeth’s husband but has an affair with Abigail. This fact immediately opens the reader’s eyes towards how one’s flaws or mistakes can reveal other person’s qualities and virtues.
Both,
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He accepts his sin in court, and uncovers Abigail’s true colors by saying, “She thinks to dance with me in my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands. I know you must see it now”(102). This strong revelation perfectly labels Abigail as a vindictive and immoral woman, immediately highlighting Elizabeth’s fondness. Thus, Proctor’s regret is what assures the reader that Elizabeth is his true love. While Abigail’s entire life revolves around sin and treachery, Proctor praises the fact that his wife’s way of being is completely transparent. He says, “In her life, sir, she have never lied. There are them that cannot sing, and them that cannot weep- my wife cannot lie”(103). As ironic as it might sound, Elizabeth reveals her golden values by lying for the first time. Elizabeth is not present in court the moment that Proctor accepts his sin to let everyone know the truth behind Abigail’s behavior. So, when Judge Danforth asks Elizabeth if it is true that her husband has committed adultery, she denies it. While Abigail lies for wrongful motives, Elizabeth lies to protect her husband, even after having to forgive such heartbreaking
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