How and why does Elizabeth unwittingly testify against her husband?
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In Act III, Abigail threatens Danforth, claiming that the powers of Hell may affect him soon. Abigail pretends that she feels a sharp wind threatening her. Proctor calls Abigail a whore and grabs her by the hair. Finally he admits that he had an affair with Abigail. The court fears that if this is true, it finally provides a motivation for Abigail to be lying. Danforth orders Parris to bring Elizabeth to the court. If Elizabeth admits to firing Abigail for her affair with Proctor, Danforth will charge Abigail. Proctor is confident that his wife would never, could never lie, even to save him. But Elizabeth is questioned with her back towards Proctor so they cannot communicate, and she says that she fired Abigail because she displeased her, and because she thought that her husband fancied her. She says that Proctor never committed lechery. Proctor cries out for Elizabeth to tell the truth, that he has already confessed, but Danforth orders Elizabeth to leave.