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John Proctor is the tragic hero of ‘The Crucible’. How far would you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

John Proctor is the tragic hero of 'The Crucible'. How far would you agree with this statement? 'The Crucible' is described as a vessel in which metals are heated at high temperatures melted down and purified. This title could be seen to represent Salem 1692. John Proctor is put in a situation where the heat is becoming hotter as the witch-hunt intensifies. Through the play we follow John's faults, flaws and struggle with his personal conscience until the curtain drops we know he's been purified. Salem society influences the ideas and actions of John Proctor. Social and historical influences in Salem lead to the witch-hunt where John Proctor and his friends must make a stand for truth and reason. In Salem everyone conformed to a strict code of belief. They had a belief in the existence of the devil. They took a literal view of the Old Testament 'Thou shalt suffer not a witch to live'. ...read more.

Middle

The audience feels the cold atmosphere because they are both trying to shun away from the affair. We feel sorry for John because of Elizabeth coldness towards him. Johns fails to keep our admiration when the audience realize that he won't go to court to tell the about Abigail's dancing in the woods, when he withholds the information from the court allows the witch-hunt to escalate into madness. We see that John values his marriage and reputation more than the madness escalating in the village. Elizabeth influences John and the tension in their relationship contributes to his defensive behaviour and stalling about going to court. The audience feel the embarrassment of John when he fails to remember all Ten Commandments; he forgets the commandment of adultery. John tries to save Elizabeth from harm when being taken to the jail after, John's Achilles heel Abigail tells the court Elizabeth was dabbling in witchcraft. He is determined to rescue her from the laws firm hand on her. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is fraud. I am not that man.' John battles with his principles and decides to confess to seeing the devil, we feel sympathy for John because of Elizabeth's coldness towards him she'll not help him in his moral dilemma, 'I am not your judge, I cannot be'. John refuses his confession to go public he doesn't want his three sons to think that he 'sold his friends'. John reaches heroic status when he decides to rip up the confession and take personal dignity over life. I agree with the statement 'John Proctor is the tragic hero' because John started off being fraudulent and insincere, as the play went on we saw him gain a lot of respect. He gained his respect because he was loyal to his friends. I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character that is ready to lay down his life to secure one thing his sense of personal dignity. ...read more.

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