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The Crucible Essay: How Effective is Arthur Miller in Creating John Proctor as a Heroic Figure in Act 4?

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In the play THE CRUCIBLE, BY ARTHUR MILLER, set in Salem Massachusetts in 1692, there are many characters, of which John Proctor is very important. Arthur Miller has tried very hard to create John Proctor as a heroic figure throughout the play especially in act 4. This essay will describe and explain whether or not Arthur was successful in doing this. The play was written by Arthur Miller in 1953, at the time of the anti- communism in USA. It is very ironic that this play was based on the Salem witchcraft trials at the time of the anti-communism. When the Salem witchcraft trials took place, then anyone who confessed of being a witch and being connected with Lucifer- the Devil, and also gave another person's name, or lots of other names then they were let off and were not hanged. If however a person did not confess and stayed adamant, then they were hung to death. Similarly, during the McCarthy trials, if a person was accused, and they gave another person's name then they would be free to go and if they didn't, then they were put into prison. In my opinion, the Crucible was written at this time because in the Crucible, at the end every one realised that whatever was happening was incorrect and in the same way Arthur Miller may have wanted to show this through writing the play at such a time. ...read more.


this shows that john proctor did not really want to sign and confess to something that was not true, but only said so because he wanted his life, his wife wanted him to live and his children also needed him to live. He did it for the sake of his family and loved ones. When he does eventually sign the document, Danforth reaches for it, but proctor grabs it furiously, with Danforth politely extending his hand towards proctor saying, "If you please, sir." With this Proctor replied, "No." Danforth again tried explaining to proctor that the document was needed as proof to the village that he had confessed. Proctor however had no intention of handing over the documents, as we can clearly see and understand this when he says, "Damn the village. I confess to God, and God has seen my name on this! It is enough!" Also when he says, "I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!" what these two quotes say is that god has seen his confession and so has Danforth, so what is there to question about. The public need not have evidence of his confession because as proctor said,"You are the high court, your word is enough!" ...read more.


The last time they could share a moment with each other. When proctor was taken away, both Parris and Hale, both plead Elizabeth to go and stop Proctor, to plead with him and stop him, but instead of doing so she told them, "he have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!" With that, the scene and play ends. Proctor was finally taking the path of truth, even if it meant taking his own life for it, to show as an example to the others of the village. The typical hero as seen today and many years before us have always thought that for a person to be heroic, they have to be alive, but Miller has shown that, no a person can be a hero even if they are dead. A lot of the accusations stopped after theirs, because the high court and judges realised- finally- that what they were doing, the people they were and had been convicting were after all innocent, and soon after the fever died. Arthur Miller truly portrayed the character John Proctor extremely well and was very successful in showing him as a heroic figure. A character that was admired by many people and will always be. It was also a very clever way of ending the play, because as people have said and still do say- the truth always wins in the end, no matter what happens, and Miller has proved this to be correct. ?? ?? ?? ?? Zoya Khan 10L 1354 13228 ...read more.

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