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John Proctor is the tragic hero of The Crucible

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GCSE English coursework - drama 'John Proctor is the tragic hero of The Crucible', how far would you agree with this statement? In puritan society in 1692, it was expected that a hero would be someone that helps, is honest and stands up for their cause, also a heroic person would be very religious as religion was a very large part of a puritan's life. Many of Proctors actions in the play can be viewed as heroic, such as when he stands up to the court and Abigail or when he fights right until the end and tries to help all the other people wrongly accused of witchcraft. The tragic part is that he dies trying to do these things. In 1938 an organisation called The house of un-american activities committee was created by the senator Joseph McCarthy. This committee was to stop communism, communists and communist sympathisers. Many people thought this was out of control. In the introductory explanation of the crucible book it says that 'the committee became almost paranoid in its searching out of communist sympathisers.' This shows that they weren't just slightly worried they were border lining paranoia which makes you wonder if they were worrying about communism more than was really necessary and that it was being put across as a larger problem than it actually was. ...read more.


He also calms his wife down and sets himself out to go to the court and help her and everybody else, we know this because he says ' I will fall like an ocean on that court, fear nothing.' He is showing he will stop at nothing to get her out of prison and reassuring Elizabeth that she has nothing to worry about. In this scene some of his actions however can be proven to be un-heroic such as the way he treats his servant Mary Warren, this is shown when he says to her ' I will bring your guts into your mouth' suggesting that he will kill her but in a more vicious manner than is truly necessary. This quotes however makes a stronger impact on the audience as Mary Warren is still rather young and is sobbing and its not exactly heroic to reduce a young girl to tears. Act 3 is one of Proctors most heroic scenes, it shows him standing up to a very close knit court, Abigail and all the other accusers, especially when he confesses to his affair with Abigail, which for anyone to do in front of a court must be very hard. ...read more.


All those things show he helps, is honest and stands up for his cause which are all quality's of a hero. He is a tragic hero because in the course of being a hero he died. This is not the only tragic part though, the fact that nothing came from his death for some time is also tragic, even though Abigail runs away he still gets hung because of how society was in that time and also the court was to embarrassed to admit it had been fooled. It was only some time later that the court finally admitted everything. This comes back to the reason Miller wrote Proctor as he was. In the introduction of the book there is a quote from Miller saying ' the political question therefore, of whether witches and communists could be equated was no longer the point. What was manifestly parallel was the guilt, two centuries apart, of holding illicit, suppressed feelings of alienation and hostility toward standard, daylight society as defined by its most orthodox components.' This shows that Miller is not comparing witches and communists, he is simply showing how closely related Americas attitude was towards both and how they accused the 'standard, daylight society' of crimes they had nothing to do with and how Miller, like proctor, was risking everything to make a point. Olivia Lee 11.DM ...read more.

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