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English/Modern Drama Coursework - Thee Crucible

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Modern Drama Coursework - The Crucible How does Arthur Miller portray John Proctor as a tragic hero in final scenes of 'The Crucible'? The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller in 1953, which was a time of McCarthyism and paranoia about Communism. Arthur Miller was involved in McCarthyism, as he was accused of supporting Communism. He wrote the play to show people how ridiculous accusations can be, and how easily they can get out of hand. The play is set in the small town of Salem, in 1692. It is set against a great forest, and the people of Salem don't know what is out there, which is what gives them such a wary approach to the abnormal e.g. witchcraft. Salem goes by the strict religion of Puritanism, so the people take things out of the ordinary and any sins very seriously, sometimes resulting in the death penalty. When some girls are found dancing in the woods one night by the town minister, Reverend Parris, the younger ones become afraid of the consequences and fake illness. This makes the townsfolk suspicious, and word gets spread of witchcraft resulting in Parris getting a few visitors, who are curious to find out about the previous night's events. John Proctor is a good example of an Aristotelian tragic hero, as he has all four qualities: nobility-he is very noble ...read more.


Although this is such a noble act, and there seems to be a way out for most of the condemned people, Elizabeth is asked about it, and denies all knowledge just to try and save John. This results in everyone back to where they started, on a waiting list to be hanged. Elizabeth and John Proctor's marriage seems to be on the rocks in act two, when they are sat eating dinner, as the stage directions show that they find it very difficult to speak to each other and there is a very bad atmosphere in the room, "[it is as though she would speak but cannot]." This awkward atmosphere is the result of John's previous affair, and the tension is broken, when they begin an argument over her. Although they seem very far apart, later on in act three, John admits to being a lecher "I have known her, sir." Admitting to that took a lot of courage, and it sheds a new light to the audience of John Proctor. Elizabeth is called in to prove this, and although Proctor has told the judges she will not lie, she says she knows nothing of the affair, for the sake of saving John's name. This ends in Elizabeth being taken away, and John being accused of lying. ...read more.


Another nobility in act four, is when he is asked whether he knows of anyone else who may have been 'with the devil,' and he will not mention anybody else's name to the court. This shows a resemblance to Arthur Miller, the author, as when he was questioned in the 1950s about allegedly supporting Communism; he never involved anybody else in it. I think Arthur Miller based John Proctor around himself, as well as the real-life John Proctor from Salem. I think Proctor deserves respect for letting himself die, and being so noble. He suffered a lot more than he should have, because there is no death penalty for lechery, but witchcraft-the reason he was hung-does have the death penalty. Although he officially died for being a witch, I think he really died for having an affair, and this is what I think makes him so well-respected. I also think that he is spiritually wounded by Elizabeth, when she won't forgive him, "John, it comes to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself." He is also physically wounded, as he has been in prison for the past three months, and "[He is another man, bearded, filthy...]." ?? ?? ?? ?? Rhiannon Sanderson ...read more.

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