Elizabeth Proctor was a good woman and a good wife to John Proctor. She loved him and stood by him through his imprisonment and execution. The thought of John's death filled her with pain and torment, but she loved him too much to ask him to lie in order to save himself. She loved him too much to take his "goodness" from him. Elizabeth's personal sacrifice at the play's conclusion is evidence of her own goodness.
However, Elizabeth believed that she had failed John earlier in their marriage, and before he died, she took responsibility for her part in their alienation. She blamed herself for John's infidelity with Abigail, explaining that her own insecurities kept her from believing in his love. According to Elizabeth, she kept "a cold house." After discovering John's affair, Elizabeth was filled with fear and suspicion. She no longer trusted him, making John feel punished unfairly every day for his past unfaithfulness. John rejected Elizabeth's self-criticism, and their final moments together were filled with tenderness.
Overall, Miller presents Elizabeth Proctor as a good wife and woman. The only negative characteristics Miller attributes to Elizabeth are that she can be somewhat self-righteous, and she is insecure. In Act 2, when John returns to the house, Elizabeth greets him with suspicion. Her first words in the play are:
"What keeps you so late? It's almost dark" (Act 2, lines 1-2).
Elizabeth's insecurity stems from her lack of confidence in her appearance and personality. Her husband John is a domineering individual who commands others' attention. In Act 4, as Elizabeth and John discuss his decision, Elizabeth apologizes to John for her quick willingness to suspect him of wrongdoing. She confesses,
"John, I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me! Suspicion kissed you when I did. . . . It were a cold house I kept!" (Act 4)
Other than these two "flaws," Elizabeth is a faithful, protective wife and woman. Miller...