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How does Arthur Miller develop John Proctors character throughout the play, and what is the relationship between Proctor and Abigail as well Proctor's relationship with his wife Elizabeth Proctor?

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller develop John Proctors character throughout the play, and what is the relationship between Proctor and Abigail as well Proctor's relationship with his wife Elizabeth Proctor? In my view there are a lot of ways in which Arthur Miller develops John Proctor's character during the play. Miller uses The Crucible to express his own views on what was happening in America at the time-McCarthyism was at a prominence. He uses John Proctor as he is interested in the person who doesn't allow himself to be caught up in hysteria but thinks for himself and stands up for his values against all odds. To see how Arthur Miller does this we have to analyse the character of John Procter in the play. John Proctor is a complex character. We can see that he is respected in the town of Salem when he signs his confession. Parris says "It is a weighty name; it will strike the village that Proctor confess". ...read more.

Middle

He does not choose to go to Salem and denounce the proceedings and Abigail, the only thing that really forces him to go is Elizabeth. We sense from this that he is thinking of himself as much as of Elizabeth. He suggests finding Ezekiel Cleever and informing him that Abigail said that Elizabeth was a witch "in sport" (as a joke). However when Proctor suggests this, he is suggesting an easy option and an option that Elizabeth knows will be unlikely to be successful. "John, with so many in jail, more than Cheever's help is needed now, I think. Would you favour me this? Go to Abigail." Miller believes that society is never an excuse for our failings, and that we are responsible for ourselves, and Proctor is constantly willing to stand up and be counted, to live up to his name, except that human weakness and guilt sometimes drag him down. This weakness and guilt make him easier to identify with, he is not perfect, but flawed. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example he knows that when Elizabeth asks (tells) him to go into town to state that Abigail is telling lies and the whole trial is a farce, he is in a very intricate position because he knows that he could be revealed as being "lecherous" with Abigail. Although he knows as well that if he doesn't do anything, Elizabeth could be hung and his children would be without their mother. This moral dilemma really does change his character since he eventually admits to having an affair with Abigail (thus losing his "name") and he is also found guilty of being a "witch" and hung. Therefore I believe that John Proctor becomes more committed to others rather than himself by the end of the play. In other words he seems to be rather hesitant to get involved in the trials at the start of the play (because of the Abigail affair) but as the "witch hunt" continues he is forced into the spotlight and is ultimately forced into a moral choice. His choice to die is a choice to commit himself to his friends and die an honest man. By Richard Dobbs ...read more.

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