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John Proctor as a Tragic Hero in “The Crucible”


In the play by Arthur Miller The Crucible, the town of Salem is in pandemonium under the non-existent risk of witchcraft. Every character is either lying to conserve their lives or to end others, or dying for not confessing to a lie. One character who sticks out amongst the disorderly conflagration is the awful hero John Proctor.

In Greek drama, a terrible hero is defined as “a great or virtuous character in a remarkable tragedy that is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.”

No character in The Crucible fits this description much better than John Proctor. John Proctor is the tragic hero in The Crucible due to the fact that of his strengths and significant traits, such as reason and individual sacrifice. He also fits the description since of his terrible defects such as unfaithfulness and pride that resulted in his fall from grace.

During the turmoil of the trials, the allegedly ethical and just people of Salem loses an ethical compass. What sets John Proctor apart is the truth that he is willing to do what is excellent, regardless of the personal cost. As he is trying to conserve the life of his partner, along with himself, he deals with Judge Danforth. “She thinks to dance with me on my better half’s tomb! And well she might, for I considered her softly. God help me, I starved, and there is a pledge in such sweat. However it is a slut’s vengeance, and you need to see it; I set myself completely in your hands.

I understand you must see it now” (Miller 49, John Proctor Essay )Here, John Proctor reveals Abigail’s true inspirations, and at a terrific personal cost. In the Puritan culture, one’s image was one’s income, and Proctor provides his as much as preserve fact and stability. Another characteristic that contributes to the nobility of John Proctor is his voice of factor in a reasonless circumstance. The first person he voices this to is Reverend Hale. “And why not, if they must hang for denyin’ it? There are them that will testify anything before they’ll hang; have you nothing thought of that” (Miller 33.)

John is somehow the only one in the community to see that people might confess to what they did not do so they will not hang. Arthur Miller also communicates through John Proctor that it is acceptable to stand up to unjustified authority. These qualities that the character John Proctor possesses are what qualify him to be a tragic hero.

A terrible hero needs to have awful flaws as well, which John Proctor does not have a lack of. It is feasible that his affair with Abigail Williams is the root of the witch trials. He attempts to fix it by trying to silence her. “Abby, I might consider you gently from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever grab you once again. Wipe it out of mind. We never ever touched, Abby” (Miller 15.)

This affair he has with Abigail is a very lethal defect. Abigail begins all of the witch paranoia because of her desire to eliminate Elizabeth Proctor since she falls for John. When John releases her from his home and his life, she goes on a blood buzz for Elizabeth and the rest of Salem, causing the whole catastrophe of the witch trials. A broader point that Miller depicts through the impact the affair has is all of the damage that lying and unfaithfulness causes.

Another terrible defect that, like the majority of awful heroes in Greek drama, John Proctor shows is pride. Proctor has the option between life and death on pen and paper, to sign his name indicates life, to decline methods death. “Since it is my name! Since I can not have another in my life! Due to the fact that I lie and sign myself to lies! Due to the fact that I am unworthy the dust on the feet of them who hang! How may I live without my name? I have provided you my soul, leave my name” (Miller 62.)

The begging of John Proctor to maintain his name is as prideful as it is useless. He admits to these lies, but he lets himself be hanged due to the fact that he does not desire the neighborhood to see his name on a confession paper on the church door. It is this precise flaw that leads straight to the failure and death of John Proctor.

John Proctor fits perfectly to the definition of a tragic hero. He reveals nobility through his qualities such as sacrifice and factor. He likewise displays tragic defects through his personal satanic forces such as pride, desire, and unfaithfulness. Through the character John Proctor, Arthur Miller teaches the reader a valuable lesson. Unfaithfulness and pride will lead to downfall, and it is amazing if you are a voice of morality and factor in an unjust circumstance.

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