Elizabeth Proctor serves as the moral conscience in this act of The Crucible. It is she who puts forth the most prominent arguments for Proctor accepting his own death, despite her stated wish that she wants her husband to remain alive. This could be interpreted as another manifestation of Elizabeth's cold nature, for she remains seemingly more concerned about abstract moral principles than her husband's life; Danforth even questions whether Elizabeth has any tenderness for her husband at all. Elizabeth is not to be played as a cold character, however. She refuses to influence her husband's decision despite her own wishes – he has earned her respect as a free moral agent, and she loves him all the more for his ability to make the right decision on his own.
The characters in the play were based upon real people who judged or were judged in hysteria. You'll close the book with a comma-like state, as there are a lot of ambiguities in it. But be sure to read it to the end, don't lose this superb possibility.
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If Miller took unknowing liberties with the facts of his own era, he also played fast and loose with the historical record. The general outline of events in The Crucible corresponds to what happened in Salem of 1692, but Miller’s characters are often composites. Furthermore, his central plot device—the affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor—has no grounding in fact (Proctor was over sixty at the time of the trials, while Abigail was only eleven). Thus, Miller’s decision to set sexual jealousy at the root of the hysteria constitutes a dramatic contrivance.