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How does Miller establish Proctor as an admirable character?

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Introduction

How does Miller establish Proctor as an admirable character? During the play, there are many things revealed about the character of John Proctor. It appears, overall, that he is admirable, as the question suggests, but Proctor displays a good deal of qualities and shows signs of weakness and anger. He seems a very passionate man, though occasionally his admirable actions could be misinterpreted as him being stubborn. For example at the end of the play when, Proctor refuses to sign his confession. Arthur miller creates depth in Proctor's character by building him up slowly. When Proctor first appears in the play the words he speaks are foreboding, therefore making him seem an unpleasant character. Though as a result of the actions throughout the course of the rest of the play his admirability slowly increases and towards the end, he is almost the play's tragic hero. Proctor makes many mistakes in the play, the most evident of them being his affair with Abigail Williams, the niece of reverend Parris and the former servant of the Proctor household. In the play John's wife, Elizabeth Proctor, dismissed Abigail, when John confessed his affair. ...read more.

Middle

John won't let Abigail slander his wife, and in my interpretation, this is because he feels guilty for the way he treated her, and is therefore very defensive of Elizabeth and will not allow anyone else to degrade her or treat her unfairly. His loyalty is greatly admirable in these circumstances, as it is known not to have always been the case. Proctor tears up Elizabeth's warrant for arrest in a fit of rage in act two. It is to be admired that his love for his wife is so strong he is willing to destroy a legal document, in protest to the way she is being treated and her false accusation, made by none other than Abigail Williams herself. Despite John's protestations Elizabeth is taken away in chains, along with fifteen other women. Our admirabilty for Proctor grows stronger, as he realises, through Elizabeth's arrest, that Abigail is jealous of his wife and uses malicious, spiteful ways of trying to erase her from the situation. When Proctor realises he may possibly save people if he goes to the court and, casting away his pride, admits to his affair, thus, Abigail's spitefulness he has many good intentions to do so. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of the act Proctor vocalises his confession in front of the court, but is reluctant to sign his name to a written confession. He finally does, only to snatch it away from the judges at the last minute. Proctor gives the play's most moving speech at this point, explaining why he is unwilling to sign himself to lies, saying, "...Because it is my name, because I cannot have another in my life...I have given you my soul; leave me my name." This is by far the most admirable thing Proctor does in the play. At the beginning of the play Proctor's pride and fear of public opinion forced him to keep his affair from the court, and promote the witchcraft hysteria. By the end of the play he is more concerned with how he feels about himself and his personal integrity than how the village see him and his public reputation. Proctor still wants to save his name, but for religious and personal reasons, rather than pride. The way Proctor behaves is deeply admirable and by the end of the play, John redeems himself for his earlier sins. As Elizabeth says at the very end, "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him." ...read more.

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