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

Proctor's Contribution to the Effectiveness of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Proctor's Contribution to the Effectiveness of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' By Jeffrey Li The name 'John Proctor' resembles a man of utmost character and dominance. From when he first enters the scene of the play, he instantly makes a huge impact on the atmosphere on stage before he even mutters a word. No matter where you are in the Salem, there is no way you can ignore or disregard his presence. John Proctor is the heart of this play and is the key contributor to the striking effectiveness of Arthur Miller's dark and mysterious drama. Due to his extreme authority and command on the stage, Proctor always seems to be at the centre of conflict within the play. Whenever he appears, he is always liable to create a sense of insecurity. He is the source of tensional conflict and because of this, he has a very distinct effect on the characters that surround him. Proctor's attendance is always made incredibly obvious and this alone gives people difficulty feeling comfortable when he is around. One of the best examples of this is expressed when he first enters the play, giving Mary Warren quite a serious fright: "Enter John Proctor. On seeing him, Mary Warren leaps in fright."(p16) As said before, he has not even muttered or said a word. His reputation and personal conveyance is enough to disturb others. "Be you foolish Mary Warren? Be you deaf? I forbid you to leave the house, did I not? Why shall I pay you? I am looking for you more often than my cows!" (p16) "I'll show you a great doin' on your arse one of these days. Now get you home, my wife is waitin' with your work!" (p16) These quotes emphasise that this man's bite is just as bad as his bark. Not only does Proctor have a strong and powerful appearance, his speech also expresses his rash and rough personality. ...read more.

Middle

But it just seems that in these opening stages of the play - Elizabeth is showing no intentions of letting him get away with it and constantly rubs it in: "Proctor: You doubt me yet? Elizabeth: John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not. Proctor: Now look you - Elizabeth: I see what I see John." (p45) Besides his atmosphere-changing attributes, there is another thing that Proctor contributes to this play and that is the ability to give the crowd an opportunity to interact with the characters on stage. Through Proctor's choric role, the audience are able to communicate their own thoughts and opinions to others in Salem. Due to the distinct resemblance in beliefs, a person watching the crucible would be able to imagine that they are Proctor on stage, acting out the play and taking part in a trial of the 17th century. Equipped with this ability, the audience are inevitably insured to bear a higher level of interest towards what awaits in the mysterious and twisted plot. Since the audience sympathises with Proctor, it adds to the tragic effect of the ending. The emphasis upon it being a 'tragedy' is subtle yet the factors among it are probably strong enough to categorise it as what is known as a 'Shakespearean Style Tragedy'. Even Arthur Miller himself stated that this was in fact his intention when writing this play: "Every tragedy is the story of how the birds come home to roost. You do something, and then you try to undo it and it won't undo; it keeps pursuing you until it catches up to you." This is basically what happens to Proctor in this story. Out of the goodness of his own heart, he attempts to save his wife Elizabeth from the rope. However, he is instead inadvertently dragged into the situation and placed upon the grand podium himself; thus finding himself suspended in a state of affairs which turn out to be both uncertain and inescapable. ...read more.

Conclusion

~ Danforth This is the point where Proctor comes into this, since he is the man who was placed in the play by Arthur Miller in order to protest against all of this injustice. He is the one that Arthur Miller is using as the 'vehicle' for social criticism. Due to the fact that he plays the choric role that the crowd favour, and since Danforth resembles the court/senate that the crowd dislike, it automatically causes the crowd to switch perspective and see what is going on from Miller/ Proctor's point of view. Proctor is almost the character that Arthur Miller puts inside the play as a representation of himself. Although their personalities may be different, Miller and Proctor both share the same thoughts and this itself is another metaphor concerning what the play stands for. As a summary, there are four main things that Proctor contributes to this play: - Conflict: through his dominant personality and iconoclastic figure. - A higher level of involvement concerning the crowd: via his Choric Role. - Tragic Effect: as he adds hope to a lost cause and climbs up to fall back down. - Vehicle of protest against social disorder: by expressing Miller's thoughts. Arthur Miller put his own heart and soul into the character of John Proctor and as a result placed himself and the audience into the play. Thus, he has expressed his opinions to the crowd and given them an underlying habit of thought concerning the social disorder in modern society. Without a character like Proctor in this play, Arthur Miller would have had a harder time creating drama and conflict. It would have been difficult to raise interests and affairs concerning the audience and there would have been no way to reach such a climatic ending. As said before, Proctor is the key contributor to the striking effectiveness of this story and without some to play a role like this, a play is just not the same. ...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. The Crucible - summary.

    Putnam suspects Proctor, because he has not been at Sabbath recently, but Proctor claims that there is no need to go, for Rev. Parris never mentions God anymore. Parris warns that there must be obedience or the church will burn like Hell, but Proctor asks if he can speak one minute without mentioning Hell.

  2. "Societies often tend to suppress individual freedom in order to maintain social order" 'Examine ...

    By the time Hale realises the injustice going on it is too late for him to have any influence. The most significant question the audience ask is; why does Proctor confess and then tear up his confession?

  1. By What means does Miller create a sense of Expectations within his audience in ...

    When Marco sees Eddie inflicting pain upon his younger brother Marco is quick to show That he is there to protect his brother, when his mind is made up he is totally focused, he employs tunnel vision. Marco's intension to punish Eddie was not a selfish one; he feels that it is his duty to do so.

  2. To what extent can 'The Crucible' be viewed as a Classical Tragedy?

    When Abigail's plans go awry and John Proctor is accused of witchcraft Abigail is too craven to save him by admitting her lies and instead steals thirty-one pounds from her uncle and flees Salem aboard a ship.

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

    The play can, without a doubt, be likened to this definition as well. If you look at the witch trials themselves, while the accused were in the courtroom, they were enduring a test of their character and moral values. The charged had a very hard time getting people to even

  2. To what extent can John Proctor be described as a tragic hero in Arthur ...

    This tendency to remain apart can also be seen in his decision not to attend church, rather than take a more active role in the congregation. This independence of character again demonstrates Proctors arrogance. Even if he disagrees with Reverend Parris, he still has the responsibility to God to attend church on a regular basis.

  1. Do you consider John Proctor to be a modern tragic hero?

    The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you," meaning Proctor is punishing himself for his sins, and channelling his guilt by blaming his wife. In this interaction with Elizabeth we truly see how insecure and weak Proctor is, a far cry from the strong outward appearance he shows to others.

  2. John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

    However, as the play opens, the audience discovers that Proctor has a significant secret. His unfortunate flaw was that he had a physical attraction for Abigail Williams. When his wife became sick he began to get emotions for Abigail. He committed adultery with Abigail against his wife.

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