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The Crucible.

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Introduction

Laura Dyke 10BH The Crucible- Coursework Assignments Draft 1. Proctor is introduced to the Play's audience fairly early in the play, his entrance on the scene being announced rather dramatically by Mary Warren's reaction to it. The stage directions dictate the atmosphere surrounding Proctor's entrance. The actress playing the part of Mary Warren is directed to leap in fright upon seeing Proctor enter, thereby portraying proctor as a character who is feared by Mary Warren, although the reason for that fear is not yet apparent. Mary Warren has already been portrayed as a servant in Proctors house and her directed reaction to meeting him at this point in the play gives us an insight into his relationship with her and generally into the effect that he has on people in his own household. Clearly Mary Warren at this point shows the audience that Proctor is either a man worthy of great respect and that she is in awe of him or that he is a domineering, unpleasant employer. The stage direction and Mary Warren's reaction as directed leave the audience in doubt as to precisely what type of character Proctor is, but in no doubt as to his effect on Mary herself. It is only when Proctor begins to speak that the audience learns that he is a strong minded and strict employer, capable of making life difficult for his servants and demanding unquestioning obedience. His opening remarks to Mary betray his character as such an employer when he says: "Be you foolish, Mary Warren? ...read more.

Middle

Wipe is out of mind. We never touched, Abby." Proctors conversations with his wife Elizabeth further show the extent to which he is over sensitive about his conduct in the past. In their discussion in act two concerning the allegations of witchcraft in Salem, he is very defensive of Elizabeth's suggestions that he go into Salem in order to set the record straight. The fact that he would have to call into doubt the word of Abigail makes matters worse. He knows that it is only right and proper that he go into Salem to tell the court that Abigail has fabricated the stories of witchcraft but it is his feelings for Abigail that have prevented him from doing so up to now. He knows that he cannot simply stand by and allow innocent people to hang, but if he exposes Abigail, he also runs the risk of harm to her and exposing his own infidelity. This is why he is so reluctant to go into Salem. His annoyance with Elizabeth is not based on her persistence in asking him to do the right thing (which he knows he must do) but rather upon her understandable doubts as to his true motives for not going into Salem immediately to challenge Abigail. Elizabeth's criticism is justified and proctors anger is not. Proctors attitude towards the witchcraft trials changes rather dramatically when Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft. Up to that point he had chosen inaction because of the effect that his actions may have on Abigail and upon his and Elizabeth's reputations. ...read more.

Conclusion

He could be called a hero and a martyr to honour. Although in different circumstances, Miller did the same as proctor as he refused to divulge any names of other persons suspected of being communists. Miller and Proctor have this refusal in common and I believe they should both not be thought of just as heroes but rather be remembered and respected for their selfless loyalty to those people whom they sought to protect. Proctor's character has changes quite considerably through the play. At the outset he is portrayed as a hypocrite who, defending his honour, hides a dark secret which, if revealed, would destroy his honour. His treatment of Mary Warren exposes his hypocrisy at this point in the play. His discussions with Abigail however betray a softer side to his character which acknowledges his previous wrong doing and his love for Abigail herself. He still cannot however reveal to the world his true feelings for Abigail nor his affair with her. When discussing events in Salem with Elizabeth, Proctors remorse for his previous conduct is evident and he tries hard to avoid the subject because he knows his guilt and Elizabeth's suspicions are all correct. His conscience clearly bothers him as regards the accused people in Salem but his pride still prevents him from revealing all in order to save them. Finally, proctor sacrifices his pride and his hypocrisy in order to do the right thing and to save Elizabeth and others. He has progressed from a selfish pride to a selfless sacrifice. Proctors selfless sacrifice is acknowledged by Rebecca when she says: "Let you fear nothing! Another judgment awaits us all!" ...read more.

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