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John Proctor says to himself What is John Proctor? I am no saint; for me it is fraud. I am not that man. Explore Millers Presentation of Proctor in The Crucible. How far do you agree with Proctors analysis of himself?

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Introduction

John Proctor says to himself 'What is John Proctor? I am no saint; for me it is fraud. I am not that man.' Explore Millers Presentation of Proctor in The Crucible. How far do you agree with Proctors analysis of himself? I do not completely agree with Proctor's analysis of himself 'I am no saint...' as although he makes mistakes he redeems himself in the end by making the honest and honourable choice; dying with a clear conscience and with dignity. The Crucible, based on the Salem Witch-hunts in 1692 also has a historical link to the McCarthy Trials for Un-American activities in the early 1950s. Both of these occasions caused hysteria, and they were both seen as controversial in American history. Abigail Williams, 1692, and John McCarthy, 1950s, are the accusers; their purpose is to seek power and to dominate people around them. Miller uses the Greek tragedy genre conventions; tragic hero and hubris. He expresses how the excess ambition and pride of the accuser can ruin innocent peoples' lives as they join in with the hysteria being created. Consequently, like Mary turned on Proctor in the play, people betray friends in fear of their own life. Within my essay I will be exploring Millers presentation of Proctor in The Crucible and how his attitude changes as the play progresses; in the end grappling with his conscience to become the tragic hero of the play. Arthur Miller first introduces John Proctor in his historical notes, 'He was a kind of man- powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led...' This gives the impression that he is a dominant and respected man. ...read more.

Middle

Miller produces a build up of dramatic tension; Danforth makes Abigail and Proctor have their backs to Elizabeth so she can't see their facial expressions. She enters the room with a lot of hesitation; she is questioned about Abigail, Slight pause. Then Elizabeth tries to glance at Proctor. She is trying to get inspiration and guidance of what to say from him; not knowing what to say, sensing a situation, wetting her lips to stall for time. She is asked if Proctor has committed lechery; she doesn't answer the question properly as she is defending her husband, 'My husband- is a goodly man, sir.' Miller uses persistent stalls and hesitation to delay Elizabeth's lie; this creates dramatic tension for the audience who are willing her to say 'yes' as they know Proctor has already confessed. The climax of tension in the scene comes when Elizabeth says 'No, Sir.' The audience are left feeling flat and frustrated. The audience feel complete remorse for Proctor as he cries out 'Elizabeth, I have confessed it!' The audience know it's too late because earlier in the play Proctor says 'That woman will never lie, Mr Danforth.' Hale and Danforth react differently in the desperate situation. Hale has become empathetic towards the Proctors; we notice Hale's change of attitude as the play progresses. Hale starts to question the rights of the court, 'We cannot blink it more. There is prodigious fear of this court in the country.' After Elizabeth tells the lie it is clear to him that Abigail has set them up and manipulated the courts, he says 'It is a natural lie to tell...I believe him now.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Millers' message is trying to tell the audience to be aware of, and stand up to people like Danforth and Abigail and expose things before it's too late. Also, that we should beware that a petty pretence can become extremely dangerous. As we observe, Proctor comes across as very self-centred at the beginning of The Crucible and he doesn't seem to be aware of his mistakes- he is hypocritical and angry at Elizabeth for not forgiving him straight away for his affair, 'You forget nothin' and forgive nothin'. Learn charity woman.' However as the play progresses the audience experience a new, moral and powerful Proctor who notices his faults. He now understands his errors and thinks of himself as a sinner 'I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint... My honesty is broke. Elizabeth; I am no good man.' I do not completely agree with the statement 'What is John Proctor? I am no saint; for me it is fraud. I am not that man.' Although he has sinned by lying and committing lechery with Abigail he doesn't deserve to die as a consequence of Abigail's vengeance. I feel that Proctor is being quite harsh on himself because even though he makes mistakes that put him in this situation, he redeems himself in the end by telling the truth and dying with dignity. '...for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.' To conclude, I consider Proctor as more of a saint than a sinner. He is not a complete saint but I do believe that his courage, good sense of morals and power should be honoured and respected as he was a decent, noble man. ?? ?? ?? ?? C20th Drama Coursework Essay: The Crucible ...read more.

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