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'Is John Proctor A Tragic Hero?'

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Introduction

'Is John Proctor A Tragic Hero?' Stephanie Morville What is a tragic hero? The most well known definition of a tragic hero comes from the great philosopher, Aristotle. When depicting a tragic hero, Aristotle states "The change in the hero's fortunes be not from misery to happiness, but on the contrary, from happiness to misery, and the cause of it must not lie in any wickedness but in some great error on his part." In addition, he explains the four essential qualities that a tragic hero should possess, which are goodness, appropriateness, lifelike, and consistency. All of these necessities help to classify the character of John Proctor as the tragic hero of the play. Not only does he unfortunately fall to desolation, but also his character captures the sympathy and pity from the audience or readers. A tragic hero is also known to be someone who brings about their own death, through a flaw within their character or through their actions. Proctor's downfall in the play is initiated by a human error, which to a great extent qualifies him to be the tragic hero. Is John Proctor a tragic hero? In this essay I will be exploring his character, personality, and relationship towards others. ...read more.

Middle

Other stage directions in this short exchange highlight Abigail's manipulative and dissembling nature as she changes from anger, to softness, to seducing and finally to sadness. Proctor eventually becomes angry, when Abigail calls Elizabeth 'a cold snivelling woman'. Proctors anger is shown in his next line, '(shaking her): do you look for a whipping?' This shows Proctor is offended somewhat by Abigail's remark. We can see that Proctor is a strong man with a strange sense of social and individual conscience. Proctor has a 'sharp and biting way with hypocrites' and stands up for his beliefs. For this reason, he creates enemies in the Putnam's; particularly Mr. Putnam to whom he refuses to defer. His proud nature is demonstrated with his interaction with Mr. Putnam in Act1. (The audience also dislike these characters, as if to respect Proctor's judgements.) Look at the way he stands up to Putnam over issues of land 'you cannot command Mr. Parris we vote by name in this society, not by acreage' Proctor will not be undermined by the wealthy Putnam's or by the Church, which the protagonist sees as hypocritical. It is this pride that the audience respect and admire. However, the audience sympathise with Proctor because of his weakness. Miller creates an imperfect character who can be regarded as an 'everyman' so that the audience understand his actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Elizabeth then ends with 'He have his goodness now, God forbid I take it from him'. Conclusion After the affair with Abigail, Proctor felt shamed by Elizabeth's self-control, as well as a huge feeling of guilt. John Proctor was not the same man to himself as he was to others. In a way, their admiration revolted him. This was because he was disgusted with himself. John Proctor judged himself harshly. Before Abigail came and ruined his peace, he was always sure of himself. After Abigail, he was sure that nothing he would ever do would be pure and honest again. Proctor's "tragic hero" status was illustrated by his efforts to save his wife from being put to death, his attempt to prove the children are making fraudulent claims, and his unwillingness to confess to practicing witchcraft when accused. Personally I believe all humans are created with flaws, which control our emotions and often twist our lives. We are put into predications because we are having a hard time of controlling them; therefore we just let them flow. John Proctor's flaws were his faith, the belief of his own dignity, and his pride, that eventually put in to death. He is a tragic hero that dies of his own flaw, which brought up our sympathy and our fear of death. The End. ?? ?? ?? ?? Steff Morville ...read more.

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