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John Proctor - The Crucible

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Introduction

´╗┐Throughout the play ?The Tempest?, themes and characters are used symbolically to represent challenges to ethics through provoking both conscious and unconscious thought within the audience. From this, the author ? Arthur Miller is able to attack commonly held beliefs and tendencies held at the time of publishing the play without causing unwanted alarm; in a time of mass hysteria anyway. Perhaps a less obvious, though nonetheless effective way of achieving this, is through the character of John Proctor. From early on the paly, Proctor appears a relatable, sound townsman to Salem. This is portrayed through Proctors early dismissal of the prospect of witchcraft being present in Salem; ?What?s this mischief then?? Hence allowing the audience to subconsciously align Proctor as a source of reliable information, due to the downright absurdity at the prospect of witchcraft to the nineteen fifties audience. Despite this, early on in the play, it becomes apparent John Proctor has ? like most people ? made mistakes that he would much rather forget. ...read more.

Middle

Supporting this claim further are several lines from Miller?s pre-introductory notes; ?His [Putnam?s] vindictive nature was demonstrated long before witchcraft began.? Not only does this reinforce our trust within the character of John Proctor, it always creates a likeness within him in the mind of the audience. Miller strives to achieve this more-so through Proctor?s defense of his absent wife to Abigail who aims to smite her; ?You?ll speak nothin? of Elizabeth!? This is due to the fact loyalty is an undisputable likeable trait. The moment our emotions towards John Proctor are challenged lay upon his treating of his housemaid upon the warrant of his wife to be arrested. Proctor handles her violently, though it is somewhat partially excused due to its honest aim: to free his wife. Thus, the challenging of our sympathetic yet simultaneously self-righteous attitude to Proctor, only succeeds in strengthening it, through the apparent pardoning of his actions for their good intentions. It becomes apparent the good moral of John Proctor, within his decision to risk the definite pardon of his wife in order to aim to release his fellow innocent ...read more.

Conclusion

This selfless deed is what separates Proctor from the rest of the townspeople. His morality proves unrivalled, after several hints at its strength earlier in the play, such as his earlier converses with his wife upon his affair with Abigail, in which he becomes irritable at his wives judgment, despite her making almost no mention of it. This hints that Proctor has simply not forgiven himself for this deed, and rather than face the fact would rather put its blame upon someone else. Despite this, his character becomes arguably a martyr towards the deformation and destruction of the witch trials, as they seemingly dissolve after his death proves example to many others. Perhaps Miller may be comparing himself to the admirable character of Proctor. Through their both almost unjustified prejudice, Proctor for his lack of faith in the Puritan system, and Miller for his satirical outlook on capitalism. For this reason, perhaps Miller is justifying his actions to not confide the American Federal government at a later date, throughout his comparison of it to something quite revolutionary (the desolation of persecution. ) ...read more.

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