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“I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” Do you consider John Proctor to be Heroic?

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"I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" Do you consider John Proctor to be Heroic? "The Crucible" as a tragedy should bring fear and pity to the reader, or spectator. The protagonist should not be exceptionally righteous, but his faults should come about because of a certain irreversible error on his part. This man will suffer a fatal ending; integral to the tragedy of the story, for this man is the tragic hero. A hero has been defined as a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities. He or she is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed an heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. The hero is often thought to have been born with these outstanding qualities, although many acts are believed to be heroic. The character of John Proctor, the protagonist, is developed greatly through the course of the story. In the play, Proctor changes from a confident farmer to a desperate man trying to free his wife from accusations of witchcraft and is ultimately accused himself. He is a respectable man but as the town of Salem is enveloped in insanity, Proctor is drawn into it and his escape is his destruction. He may have been wronged by society but it is more likely that he was not strong enough to protect himself and his family from the surrounding hysteria. ...read more.


He displays hubris through his hatred of Reverend Parris. John Proctor proclaims that he does not go to Church, an act the court and townspeople view as a revolt against the supremacy of God, because the Reverend Parris is corrupt. Proctor resents the Church because Parris controls it. In the eye of the officials, this casual negligence of God turns Proctor into an un-Christian, sinful rebel. The tragic hero not only places himself as an equal of God, but as an equal of court authority as well. As a challenge to authority he tears up the warrant for arrest presented for Elizabeth. This act escalates the war between Proctor and the court. Proctor will go to the extreme, even if it means punishment by death, in order to save his wife. This loyalty is one of his best qualities, and is often demonstrated. When he himself is accused, by Mary Warren, of witchcraft, he loses himself. He is unable to control himself or his emotions - he becomes mad and denounces God. He blames himself and the people for being drawn into the hysteria of the witch-hunt. "A fire, a fire is burning...-For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud- God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! ...read more.


Proctor's cataclysm is that he will hang. The misfortune also concludes the drama and emphasises that John Proctor is a tragic hero, for he accepts his death with silence and shows a capacity for suffering. Another quality of the tragic man is belief in his own freedom, shown by John Proctor in his destruction. Proctor's freedom is death; death is his escape from the Puritan world, which persecutes and punishes him with cries of witchcraft. Overall, the catastrophe reveals the integrity of John Proctor, making this character a tragic hero. John Proctor shows that he is a tragic hero through his struggles within the play. He struggles with his sin of adultery, for it causes a break in his bond with his wife and Abigail. He grapples with authority, for Proctor is not one who listens to authority simply because it is the accepted thing to do, or if it's arguments are against his principles. He also faces death because he chooses to be a noble man and denies all charges of witchcraft. Though John Proctor is not a perfect man, his beliefs and values are in the right place; he listens to his heart. When his head tells him to listen to the court because it is the law, and when Hale tells him to choose to live as an accused witch, Proctor does not listen because he knows that these acts are not in his, or his family's best interest. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vivienne Salmon 10 BH 14th February ...read more.

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