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The Crucible: John Proctor – Tragic Hero


The Crucible: John Proctor– Terrible Hero

Thesis Statement: Reasons why the character of Crucible John Proctor can be considered an awful hero of the play.


  • Intro: Analysis of John Proctor’s deadly individual traits that lead to his failure
  • Proctor’s very first deadly flaw: pride
  • John Proctor’s 2nd fatal trait: lust
  • Proctor’s last fatal flaw: valuing his credibility
  • Conclusion: How this character’s traits finally resulted in him being condemned

A tragic hero is an extremely favored person that struggles with a downfall which results in their death. John Proctor like many others is a terrible hero. Proctor is a very highly regarded man in Salem but he also has a few flaws that have actually shown him to be a tragic hero which are prideful, lustful, and well appreciated. Later on in the play The Crucible, Proctor realizes his defects and tries to repair them however it is far too late. One of Proctors terrible flaws is that he was prideful.

Proctor’s First Fatal Flaw: Pride

While Proctor remains in prison, his better half Elizabeth attempts to convince him to accept his innocence, but his pride obstructs and he gets hanged. One of the important things Proctor states to prove his pride fullness is,

I have actually admitted myself! Is there no excellent repentance but it be public? God does not require my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God understands how black my sins are! It is enough! (Miller 142)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor Prices Estimate

This part in the play is a very good example showing that John Proctor is a tragic hero. The quote explains to us that he understands what he did incorrect, however he is also prideful about his name being destroyed when that’s all he has.

Another example is when Proctor stated,

“Since it is my name! Since I can not have another in my life! Due to the fact that I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name?” (Miller 143)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor Prices Quote

Proctor understands that he is trying to keep his name tidy, so that his kids do not have to be judged for it. Proctor finds it easier to die for his name, then live and be evaluated everywhere he goes. As an adult Proctor needed to make those choices for the better which caused his death, but Proctor is prideful was among many.

John Proctor’s Second Deadly Quality: Lust

A second awful flaw that Proctor has is desire. Proctor lusts after his home servant while his spouse is ill. Abigail then states, “

I understand how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever i come near! Or did I dream that? Its she put me out, you can not pretend it were you. I saw your face when she put me out, and you enjoyed me then and you do now!” (Miller 22)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor Prices Quote

Abigail states that she and Proctor were together which they had feelings for one another while Elizabeth was ill.

Proctor’s lust is among his big burdens in his life, however he is aware of his errors and admits it. Proctor then says,

“Abby, I might think about you gently from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever grab you again. Clean it out of mind. We never touched, Abby” (Miller 23)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor Quotes

Proctor’s Last Deadly Defect: Treasuring His Track record

This quote is clear, Proctor recognizes what he did wrong and now attempting to alter. Proctor is trying to proceed however Abby is still in love with Proctor. Desire was one huge one, however all of it comes together. Lastly, Proctor is a tragic hero due to the fact that of how respected he remains in Salem. John Proctor was very well known in Salem.

In Act one Arthur Miller states, “Proctor, appreciated and even feared in Salem, has pertained to concern himself as a sort of fraud” (Miller 20). Proctor then mentions towards Putman,

“You can not command Mr. Parris. We vote by name in this society, not by acreage” (Miller 28)

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor Estimates

How This Character’s Qualities Finally Resulted In Him Being Condemned

John Proctor is revealing his true colors when he states his objection to Putman. Proctor resembles a leader in Salem. John Proctor’s awful flaws result in his death by being prideful, lustful, and well-respected. These things led to Proctor’s death, and that’s what makes John Proctor a terrible hero.

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