An essay to trace the changes in the character of John Proctor with reference to his portrayal in Nicholas Hytner's film of 'The Crucible'.

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Thomas Henesey 11.O                                                19th October 2002

An essay to trace the changes in the character of John Proctor with reference to his portrayal in Nicholas Hytner’s film of ‘The Crucible

        In this essay I will trace all of the key moments in the play ‘The Crucible’ that change the character of John Proctor. This essay will comment on the way that Daniel Day-Lewis plays John Proctor in Nicholas Hytner’s film of ‘The Crucible’.  

        The first time we encounter John Proctor in the play is when Betty Parris is ill. John Proctor shows his power by telling Mary Warren to go home. This really shows the control that he has over her and that he has respect in the village. Now we see the first section with Abigail. It is done differently in the film to in the play as in the play they are by Betty Parris’s bedroom but in the film they are outside behind a barn in the village. John’s reaction to Abigail is that he is lustful. He knows that his affair with her was wrong and that it would wreck his name in the village so he tells her that it is over. He denies the whole affair and tells her that it never existed. He does so that he knows that the affair never happened. When this scene is played in the film it is done behind a barn outside away from the other characters to give the effect that they are trying to hide something from the rest of the village. In this scene in the film Abigail kisses John and he replies for a while then when he has had time think he pushes her away from him. This shows us that he does still have feelings for her but he knows that he must hide it. John does still love his wife and he tells this to Abigail. This tells us that he was just having an affair and that he does still have feelings for his wife. John Proctor reaction to Abigail changes a lot throughout the play as at first he is lusting over her then he turns to calling her the devil. His change in opinion of Abigail is all due to the fact that she is insulting his wife and as I have said above John still loves his wife.

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        John’s relationship with his wife Elizabeth is strange and it is easy to see the change between John and Elizabeth throughout the play. There are distinct sections in the play that highlight different attitudes between the two of them. When we first see them in this scene alone they are not very loving towards each other and do not talk as though they are interested. In the film the feeling between John and Elizabeth is shown in the way that their house is presented, it is dark and has a cold feel to it. This is exactly how John feels ...

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