The Crucible Socratic Seminar Questions
1) In Act I, Elizabeth is not shown as a character but she is mentioned by Abby.
In Act II, the act opens with John and Elizabeth having a cold tone. John doesn't like the food and is shown putting more seasoning in it while Elizabeth is not looking. Their relationship stays sour through a conversation that essentially shows she doesn't trust him anymore. He would like to make amends and improve their family. He is willing to "pay" for his sin by taking her wrath and cold shoulder, but he wonders when the treatment will end. During this Elizabeth says to John “john grant me this. You have a faulty understanding of young girls. There is a promise made in any bed-“ John just wants this all to be over and forgotten while Elizabeth will not let it go.
In the end of this Act, we find Elizabeth has been accused of witchcraft and John again comes to defend her verbally.
In Act III, after Elizabeth been taken and jailed, John confesses his sin in the court to show his moral character and a truth that only Elizabeth knew then, but she lies to protect his name. They are obviously both trying to make up for there mistreatment for each other
By Act IV, John is now in jail too. Elizabeth is pregnant, and the baby is John's. This symbol of new life may show that they can start over having a better family life, but the government has them away from each other. This new life foreshadows John's eventual inability to let Danforth make a liar out of John. John refuses to confess to witchcraft because it is not true. The telling of this truth earned him death, and Elizabeth was left with the pride that her husband did the right thing.
2) I think that the author's main message in this play is that people should be aware of how much we can get swept up in exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement. And what bad things can occur when we do. He is saying that we tend to lose our heads when we are afraid of something.