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Commenting particularly on the dramatic devices used by Arthur Miller and their impact, argue as to how good a man John Proctor really is - Refer to events in the play to back your comments up.

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Introduction

Alex Swift 13.2.01 Commenting particularly on the dramatic devices used by Arthur Miller and their impact, argue as to how good a man John Proctor really is. Refer to events in the play to back your comments up. The Crucible is the story of an outbreak of hysteria related to witchcraft which resulted in the persecution of suspected witches. This occured in Salem, New England where Europeans had established their own Puritan religion. They followed strict moral codes and would tolerate no other, as we see when reverand Parris in a fury states 'what are we, quakers?'. The Salem outbreak started when young girls of the village took part in magic ceremonies, ministers, doctors and magistrates were called in to investigate and accusations began to fly. Before the hysterical madness had ended twenty were hanged and 200 others accused. John and Elizabeth Proctor are an upstanding couple in the community. John has an affair with Abigail, an orphan servant girl. We see John's actions due to his affair intertwine with the fate of Salem village. ...read more.

Middle

He is lacking courage when he is afraid to expose Abigail as a liar and in doing so reveal their affair. But he finds the courage and sacrifices himself in court where he admits ' I have known her, sir. I have known her.' Here we see John's deep despair and shame for what he has done. In the end he finds the strenght he needs for others. This is an example of integrity, one of the themes running throughout the play. Miller also uses stage directions effectively as a dramatic device. This is shown in the courtroom by Danforth [dumbfounded], Proctor [trembling, his life collapsing about him] and Francis [horrified], all these actions combine to create an incredibly tense atmosphere, which left me feeling very angry at the girls and pity for John. Elizabeth is brought to the courtroom to prove John's accusation against Abigail, but her loyalty causes her to lie for the first time in her life, when she replies 'No sir.' to Danforths question 'Is your husband a lecher?' ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act III when Elizabeth's finally admits 'John I counted myself so plain so poorly made no honest love could come to me' revealing her lack of self confidence, Miller's use of dramatic device in allowing John to forgive himself provokes great empathy for the pair and creates an awesome heartfelt scene. At the beginning of the play John is a respected member of the community, he is honest, upstanding and hardworking, all the signs of a good man. We see him grow into a noble and heroic character. Although he has given in to weakness we see him find the courage to stand up for what he believes in and remain loyal to his family, friends and religion. With the support of Elizabeth he accepts death, and protects the good name and future of his children. Miller's use of dramatic device and its impact formed my opinion that John Proctor was a man who wished to follow a good path in life. Although he strayed from this from this path he fought a great personal battle to return to it and put right his wrongs. He died a reluctant hero, I totally agree with Elizabeth proctors opinion 'I never thought of you but a good man.' ...read more.

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