• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How much sympathy does the character, John Proctor arouse in an audience and do we remain on his side when he decides to hang rather than confess?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How much sympathy does the character, John Proctor arouse in an audience and do we remain on his side when he decides to hang rather than confess? Although there is enough evidence proving the fact that John Proctor is entirely responsible for his marital difficulties and his own downfall, the playwright, Arthur Miller, makes it hard for the audience not to sympathise with Proctor, when he decides to hang rather than sign his name to his confession. The audience first meets John Proctor in Act One, where he is portrayed as a powerful man. 'I forbid you leave this house, did I not. Now get you home!' This mood changes when Mary Warren leaves and he is left alone with Abigail. She flirts with him, 'Gah! I'd almost forgot how strong you are, John Proctor!' His response is evident to the audience through Arthur Miller's use of stage directions, 'looking at Abigail now, the faintest suggestion of a knowing smile on his face.' He now completely changes the subject, 'What's mischief here?' Although John Proctor has ended their affair, he cannot restrain from teasing her and saying things, which she may see as a 'come-on', being the impressionable teenage girl that she is, 'ah, you're wicked yet, aren't y'!' ...read more.

Middle

He enters the house and notices a pot in the fireplace. He smells it and 'is not quite pleased.' He then drops a pinch of salt into it, tastes it again. The one pinch of salt would not have made the slightest of difference, but he still wants to be the head of the house, despite his affair with Abigail, which would have destroyed their family. This proves John is still the dominant member of the family. When he hears her footsteps on the stairs he swings the pot back into the fireplace. They then have a strained conversation, which mainly involves John asking her questions and Elizabeth replying in short or one-word answers, 'Are you well today?' 'I am.' She brings the stew to him and as he tastes it he says, 'It's well seasoned.' Later on he says to Elizabeth, 'Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.' She replies, 'I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.' This means that she cannot forgive him until he has forgiven himself. She then says he is bewildered, and he responds whilst 'laughing bitterly', 'Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that he deserves the sympathy from his emotional outbursts John then tears up his confession 'weeping in fury.' This is the noblest thing John has done in the play. Hale says to John, 'Man, you will hang! You cannot!' with desperation, but John replies 'his eyes full of tears', 'I can. And there's your first marvel, that I can.' Even he is surprised by his actions that later cost him his life. John is finally forgiving himself and making amends, and not even Elizabeth can change his mind. Hale pleads to her to stop her, 'Go to him, take his shame away,' but she replies, 'he have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him.' Although she loves John and doesn't want him to die, she is allowing him his penance, to make up for the wrongs he has done and the hurt he has caused. During Act One, John deserves no sympathy whatsoever, but by Act Four, he does everything in his ability to bring justice to the court, and to save the life of Elizabeth, even when it means making his affair with Abigail known to the village. Despite all the hurt and sin John caused, he makes amends by standing with those who refuse to confess, and hangs with dignity and pride. Laura Unite 10G 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Aldous Huxley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Aldous Huxley essays

  1. The Crucible - The Marriage of John and Elizabeth Proctor

    Although his confession would have a) allowed him to stay alive and b) given him freedom; it would have also a) allowed others to die and b) drenched his name and reputation in witchery and deceit. However, if John had not been enticed by Abigail in the beginning, such events

  2. Look at Abigail Williams relationship with John Proctor.

    We see how distant the marriage really is when John says 'It's winter in here yet.' he says this after noticing there is no flowers in the house, but it is also symbolic of their marriage, as winter is cold and barren, like their relationship.

  1. Examine three key scenes in the Crucible. Act 1,3 and 4.

    He asks Elizabeth if that would impress her. John is clearly still wanting to gain Elizabeth's trust and is willing to sacrifice his life. This still won't gain Elizabeth's trust, John asks, 'what would you have me do?' Elizabeth still wants John to live, but is still wants to be assured that the relationship between him and Abigail

  2. About King John and his family.

    he gave John a lot of land, money and wealth, but that did not stop John plotting against him. John and King Philip II of France worked as a team and tried to take control of Richard's land while he was away on Crusade.

  1. What is the John Lewis Partnership?

    What are John Lewis' competitive advantages in the retail business? Based on the information provided by the John Lewis Merchandise Manager in Kingston: According to the interview with the Merchandise Manager of John Lewis, the success of John Lewis is due to the good services provided to the customers, well-motivated

  2. Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible", discussing the two women, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor, ...

    Abigail is desperate for affection. "You loved me John Proctor, and what ever sin it is you love me yet!" Miller now shows Johns other side to keep the audiences guessing. Miller has now completely changed Abigail's character to act the young, sweet and innocent girl to gain more sympathy and pity "John, pity me."

  1. An essay to trace the changes in the character of John Proctor with reference ...

    John does still love his wife and he tells this to Abigail. This tells us that he was just having an affair and that he does still have feelings for his wife. John Proctor reaction to Abigail changes a lot throughout the play as at first he is lusting over her then he turns to calling her the devil.

  2. Throughout The Crucible the visual effects of the play indicate a lot about the ...

    Eventually the conversation gravitates around Abby, and John's visit to Salem that day. The audience can clearly make out the rapid decrease in faith in John from Elizabeth; Elizabeth - 'You were alone with her?' Proctor - 'For a moment, aye.'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work