"The Crucible" by Arthur Miller: The Aggrieved Elizabeth - The Most Wronged Character

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The most wronged character in Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible", would have to be Elizabeth Proctor. Elizabeth Proctor had the most awful experience compared to the rest of the other characters of the play. She was aggrieved the most because she had been deceived by her own husband, John Proctor, during an ailing time of her life. Also her own husband lost hope of recovery from her condition, and was enticed by Abigail Williams to fornicate, going against his promises from matrimony. As a result, John felt remorseful of the sin he committed and sent Abigail eschew. Not only was she cheated on by her husband, the whole witch sham was started by Abigail and so consequently, she was accused of committing witchcraft on the motionless children.

In the play Abigail marvels about Elizabeth as a "sickly wife" (23) who she thinks doesn't deserve John, who is a "strong man" (23).

While Elizabeth was going through these rough times at home, her own husband falls away from her to be with Abigail. It wasn't until he later realizes how wrong it was to commit that sinful act which brought suspicious stress on Elizabeth. She knew what he had done and she felt disappointed with him. This immoral act made her "[lose] all faith in him" (54), making her feel betrayed, and cold, becoming more distant from him. Even though she felt that way, she still loved him, without judging him at all. She "never thought [of him as nothing] but a good man."

Besides her concerns about her relationship with John, she also had a lot of children to support, making it really difficult to leave them home for a long time. What is even worse was that she had to spend time in jail while pregnant as well! Feeling sick, pregnant, lacking her parental support for her children, feeling betrayed, and just overall depressed, all at the same time, must have been really difficult! Even more distress was put upon Elizabeth, like the fact that Abigail was trying to get rid of her by accusing her of committing witchery on the young girls. Thus, "there be monstrous profit in it" (61) to take the place of Elizabeth. Deep inside she must be feeling a lot of anguish. These were a lot of difficult events and stress to be facing during this time of her life. The other characters could not have been experiencing as much agony as Elizabeth was facing. The others did not have as many children to care for and a new coming baby too. Elizabeth was very selfless and often cared about others more than herself. She never tried to blame other people for her own misdoings.

Elizabeth was so innocent and didn't deserve to be serving time away from her children, and her husband, whom she still loved. Elizabeth had no intention to even hurt any of the girls. She described herself to be "a covenanted Christian woman" (66) who knew her Commandments, unlike her husband John, who forgot about committing adultery as one of the 10 divine proscriptions. "There [was] no mark of blame upon [her] life" (66) at all until that time Abigail accused her wrong. She could not "think the Devil may own a woman's soul [especially] when she keeps an upright way" (70). Elizabeth had always maintained a good name in town, unlike some characters that were seemingly held suspicious, or were consumed with any greed or disdain between other people. She was far from being anywhere near to being associated with the Devil. In all, she had no repugnance against anyone in town before the affair and the witch trials.

Overall, Elizabeth Proctor was the most wronged character, who experienced a lot of disappointing events. She did not deserve to be judged and treated as a criminal. Elizabeth was a very wholesome, well-mannered individual.

Teachers Comments: Too much information in introduction. No rebuttal.