Many people have been in a position where they don’t know if it’s best for them to lie or not for the sake of someone they care about, due to the fear of what the consequences may be. Elizabeth Proctor had been in that position trying to do what’s right to defend herself and her husband, but instead, it led to something else. The most significant choice in the Crucible had been when Goody Proctor lied in court.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth made Abigail look good, but made the proctor and herself look bad. This was shown when Elizabeth stated, “ my husband is a good man sir”(pg.113). It’s strange how Elizabeth tries to make herself come off as honest and truthful but ironically decides to lie in this situation to save John’s reputation without knowing he has confessed. Everyone in the courtroom could feel the pressure that Elizabeth was under as she lied to save her husband. Also, many would say the affair was the most important part of the play, but it was just the beginning of the whole dilemma. Abigail has been portraying her lying persona throughout the play after being rejected by John. She was soon to be taken down in court until Elizabeth lied. This made Proctor come off as if he lied in court about his affair with Abigail. This is going to cause Abigail to gain more trust from Danforth, which will lead to the death of more innocent lives including John Proctor.
People believe Abigail more, giving her more power to lie. In Act 3, Danforth believes Abigail. This motivates her to keep lying which eventually leads her to turn on Mary and to the arrest of John Proctor. This is shown when Abigail looks up to the ceiling and starts having a genuine conversation with a “bird” as though trying to talk it out of attacking her: “But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin Mary”(pg.115). This is continued as others accused of witchcraft that are sitting in the courtroom start repeating everything Abigail says. Danforth then questions Mary saying, “Mary Warren! Drawback your spirit out of them!” (116). This gives Abigail the power she needs to pin Danforth against Mary, John, and Elizabeth. Abigail’s hatred against Elizabeth has been shown throughout the play. It’s very clear Abigail’s emotions got the best of her. causing her to try and kill Elizabeth by accusing her of witchcraft. This is going to cause Abigail to gain more trust from Danforth, which will lead to the death of more innocent lives including John Proctor. Danforth has hung innocent people due to their false claims about their involvement in witchcraft furthermore, he approved lies of those who’d rather stay alive than be hung. Anything that doesn’t confirm that he was right all along is an apparent lie to Danforth.
In summary, the most important event in the Crucible is the dishonestly brought into court by Elizabeth Proctor. If Elizabeth had told the truth, Proctor and she would have been freed, and Abby would have been the one to be brought under questioning from the courts instead. Elizabeth is an honest lady however, the one time she lies to save someone she loves results in serious consequences. If she had remained true to herself, she would have told the truth, saved John, ended Abigail’s game, ended the trials, and lived the rest of her life with her husband. Overall, It’s better to not sin than protect yourself or someone else’s image.