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

John Proctor is a very flawed man. How, in spite of this, does Miller develop his character so that

Extracts from this document...


John Proctor is a very flawed man. How, in spite of this, does Miller develop his character so that we admire him more and more as the play progresses? "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller parallels McCarthyism in the 1950's. McCarthyism took place during the cold war, where Senator Joseph McCarthy was pressured into taking part in a communist witch hunt. Anyone who was believed to be taking part in "left wing" events, or having left wing opinions was called up before the makeshift court and threatened with further trouble, unless they named anybody else who may be involved. This was very similar to the witch trials held in Salem, where "The Crucible" was set, where the accused risk being hanged unless they named others, often their closest friends, who may be involved with witchcraft. Arthur Miller was accused of having left wing opinions, and engaging in left wing activities, therefore he was called up in front of the court. He was given the opportunity to walk free if he named some more people who he believed to have left wing views. However, like John Proctor he refused to name his friends. Fortunately for Miller, McCarthyism came to and end soon after this, and nothing else happened to Miller, however in "The Crucible" John Proctor wasn't so lucky and was hanged for not confessing to witchcraft, or confessing other people. ...read more.


In Act Three the Irony of the witchcraft is revealed as Judge Danforth shows he is doing exactly the opposite to what he believes. He says, "We burn a hot fire here, it melts down all concealments". What they are doing is the complete opposite, disguising the truth that there is no witchcraft in a shroud of lies and accusations. At first, Danforth is completely unaware of this, but as he listens to Mary and Proctor, he starts to have doubts about the trials, however by this time it is too late for Danforth to back down and dismiss the case, as this would ruin his reputation, and he it not willing to sacrifice his reputation to save these innocent people, showing he is completely different to Proctor. Shortly after this it is discovered that Proctor's wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant, this therefore means that her life will be spared for a year so she can give birth the child. At this point Proctor could walk out of the court with Elizabeth, and leave the rest of the accused to save themselves, as he realises that one year is a long time, and even Danforth hints that things may have being forgotten. ...read more.


Proctor feels that it will not do him any good if he doesn't confess and die, as he has already sinned in his life, and he feels another sin will make no difference now. Danforth, expectedly is ecstatic at this, him and Parris have been waiting for a high-profile villager to confess. However Danforth still isn't happy at what he has, and tries to make Proctor accuse Rebecca, his close friend, of witchcraft. Proctor refuses without hesitation, as did Miller when he was asked to name his friends for engaging in left-wing activities. As Danforth realises Proctor will not accuse anyone else, he makes Proctor sign a confession to put on the village church door, so everyone can see Danforth found Proctor guilty of witch-craft, and that it was not all a "hoax". Proctor signs the paper, and then almost as soon as he has given it to Danforth, he snatches it back. Proctor cries, "You have my souls, leave me my name!" Proctor, at this point realises the unavoidable, the inevitable; he must hang. As John Proctor emerges from the Crucible, he is now purified; he has confessed his sins and burned down all concealments. Danforth now sees "A shred of goodness in John Proctor", as we come to the end of the crucible. ...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 Arthur Miller 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 Arthur Miller essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Is John Proctor a good man?

    4 star(s)

    Elizabeth loses all faith in her husband upon hearing that he and Abigail were alone together. There are tow reasons for her loss of faith. The first is that she suspects that the affair is still taking place as the 2 of them were in a room alone with each

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Who was to blame for the death of John Proctor?

    4 star(s)

    a soft word," exhibits my point as its illustrates that Abigail craves Johns affection. Hence, one may say, she would surely not want her love interest to die. This that leads to the bigger picture that many of the audience may see all of Abigail's actions as a ploy to "win" John for herself.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Who is blame for the death of John Proctor?

    4 star(s)

    Abigail Williams would be there to stop her anyways. Mary Warren had lied about John Proctor and got him hanged to save her life. She didn't do it with intention. But she did do it. Mary Warren is to blame for John Proctors deaths, because even if the whole hysteria

  2. Is John Proctor a Good Man in Arthur Miller's Crucible?

    This powerful use of irony could also be interpreted from the title: "The Crucible" because one meaning of a crucible can be a metal container used in scientific experiments to heat the contents to a very high temperature and purify them.

  1. I have given you my soul. Leave me my name: What kind of character ...

    It has made it difficult for Elizabeth to trust Proctor. She is feeling betrayed and resentful. She feels letdown. But as this is happening she wants to save the relationship and is faithful to Proctor. In this Act Proctor once again shows his strength.

  2. Examine miller's presentation of the marriage of John and Elizabeth proctor in the crucible. ...

    Proctor demands that Mary Warren go to the court and testify against the girls. John vows that he will fight the proceedings, even if it means confessing his own adultery. Act three takes place in court. Francis Nurse, Giles Corey and John Proctor present their case against the girls to Deputy Governor Dansforth and Judge Hathorne.

  1. John Proctor says to himself What is John Proctor? I am no saint; for ...

    But I will cut off my hand before I'll ever reach for you again.' This confirms that Proctor is adamant to act morally and put Abigail in her place. Proctor's relationship with Parris is bitter; they dislike each other. Miller uses Proctor's language to show his power and authority towards

  2. Salem witchcraft.

    to be hanged, as they dance together all the time and I have heard a lot of strange stories about them. This is why I am so happy because they are getting what they deserve; I want all the witches in the town killed.

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