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The Crucible

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The Crucible How does Arthur Miller encourage the audience to believe in John Proctor as a hero in 'The Crucible'? 'The Crucible' is a play written by Arthur Miller, and is based on the Salem Witch Trials. The story retells of the events which take place in the seventeenth century. It was written at the time of the McCarthy era, when many innocent people were accused of communism. McCarthyism is a term describing the intense anti-communist suspicion in the United States in a period that lasted roughly from the late 1940's to the late 1950's. This period is also referred to as the 'Second Red Scare'. McCarthyism generally refers to the conduct of Joseph McCarthy. During this time many thousands of American citizens were accused of being communists and soon became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning. 'The Crucible' focuses on the abuse of power in a theocratic society, where God is supreme and controls everyone within this society. Suspicion rules and overwhelms people's minds. People such as reverends and priests claimed to hold the prestige of being closer to God than others. Status also played a big role in the society, where people with status controlled others, and manipulated people's minds; suppressing others freedom and the right to practise whatever they may wish. This was the principle of a theocratic society; people who did not follow or worship God were considered to be going against the society's set rules and principles. ...read more.


Proctor is feeling guilty and does not want this relationship to continue, "Abby, never give you hope to wait for me". This is showing us that Proctor no longer wants to pursue their relationship. Somewhere he still has tenderness and responsibilities towards his wife Elizabeth. Generally if heroes give in to any sort of temptation, they are usually stereotypically shown to re-think their current actions. Proctor does not allow Abigail to speak abruptly about Elizabeth and threatens her "You'll speak nothing of Elizabeth". He still yet defends his wife showing us he has some feelings for her, even though after his affair with Abigail. Proctor is trying to resist temptation, and he still wants to fulfil his basic duties towards his wife as a responsible husband. This is another point showing us Proctors heroism. As the audience can realise the change within Proctor and him re-thinking his decision, showing that he has the power to retaliate and resist, which are general qualities of a typical hero. Proctors relationship with Elizabeth is restrained, they are both trying really hard to be polite and respectful to each other, but clearly Proctor feels that Elizabeth hasn't forgiven him for his adultery. In Act two Proctor tries to gain forgiveness from Elizabeth, he says "Spare me! You forget nothing 'and forgive nothin" Another point at where Proctors heroism is emphasised is in Act two when he rips up the warrant and risks his own liberty for his wife. ...read more.


He is unable to sign a confession that would save his life because it would harm his character and self respect. Proctor eventually dies a heroic death, maintaining his innocence of witchcraft and his good name, whilst also confessing his guilt as an adulterer. As a typical hero, Arthur Miller shows Proctor's heroic side in many ways across the play, with little things such as helping the community to standing up and sacrificing himself for his community and most of all loved ones! After becoming aware of his sins and affair, the audience may be left to feel deceived and let down. But then after becoming aware of his acts of heroic deeds, the argument may balance and they may seem that he should be forgiven of his sins. In conclusion, I would say that 'The Crucible' is a very powerful play written by Arthur Miller. It contains many strong themes. John Proctor was conveyed as a true hero, although he committed adultery. Finally when Proctor is hung you truly realise that how strong, defensive and heroic of a character he was. There were many sides of Proctor to see, from the respectful and feared man, to the one who was seduced and fell for Abigail. By refusing to give up his personal integrity Proctor implicitly proclaims his conviction that such integrity will bring him to heaven. He goes to the gallows redeemed for his earlier sins. As Elizabeth says at the end of the play, responding to Hale's plea that she convince Proctor to publicly confess, "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him". ?? ?? ?? ?? Adil Hussain 10GAH / 10X1 ...read more.

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