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IS JOHN PROCTOR A HERO? John Proctor is inimitable in the play, and historically is seen as an exception to the regulations of the theocracy and the witch-trials which gripped Salem during 1692.

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Introduction

IS JOHN PROCTOR A HERO? John Proctor is inimitable in the play, and historically is seen as an exception to the regulations of the theocracy and the witch-trials which gripped Salem during 1692. On this account, that Proctor is an honest, hard-working man who stands up against the hypocrisy of the court, he can be deemed a hero of the town for it was Proctor that put up the biggest fight against the trials. One possible view of John Proctor is that he follows the structure of being a tragic hero, which defines The Crucible as being a classical tragedy. Proctor fights against the abuse of authority shown by Danforth in his running of the trials and Reverend Parris in his running of the theocracy, highlighted by his refusal to allow Parris to baptise his third child: "I like it not that Mr Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man, I'll not conceal it". ...read more.

Middle

He also threatens Abigail Williams in the extra scene of the play, but since she is launching a slander campaign and trying to have his wife hanged, his aggression towards her is understandable. After all, Proctor seems to be the most rational character in the play in his views on the trials and the hysteria engulfing the town. One of Proctor's strengths, though and something which does endorse his heroic aspect is the strength and upright honesty he displays no matter what the situation. Even with his life threatened Proctor still displays the determination to keep his reputation and his family name intact and untarnished. This eventually leads to his downfall though. His stand in the final scene against the court which sentences him to the gallows is a great moral as well as personal stand, for he will never admit to having 'compacted' with the devil, and even gives his life in order to preserve the truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

in 1956 and refusing to name those who were believed to be communists or communist sympathisers. Both stand against the authorities and both are duly punished, be it Proctor's hanging or the Miller's 30 day suspended jail sentence and $500 fine. If Miller wished Proctor to be viewed as a tragic or flawed hero then he would be in effect mirroring views of himself since the two are so closely linked. If John Proctor is a hero then so is Arthur Miller, and in the extract from the Observer by Arthur Miller telling why and how he wrote the play it seems that he does not want to be viewed as the hero of the McCarthyism soap opera story of the 50's. This is why I do not think John Proctor is a hero. His actions in the play are heroic nonetheless, but the label of being a hero carries a certain responsibility that I do not think John Proctor fully displays, if Proctor was indeed intentionally meant as a hero then he is a deeply flawed one at that. ...read more.

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