• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Choose a character from 'The Crucible' whom you consider to be important. What is the role of your chosen character in the play?

Extracts from this document...


Arthur Miller wrote the play 'The Crucible' to show the historical parallel between the Salem witch trials of 1692 and the McCarthy 'witch' hunt of the late 1940' and 50's. The character John Proctor seems to represent and show the viewpoint of a real man, unaffected by hysteria; a difficult thing to portray during the 1950's in the USA, due to the fear and hate of Communism and the 'witch' hunt for communists. John Proctor is the central character of the play. He a realistic character, the audience can relate to him and sympathize with him. He is a somewhat strong character and is described by Miller as "powerful of body, even-tempered and not easily led", the last comment perhaps being the most important. His character earns respect throughout the play as the audience sees the moral arguments he has and internal conflicts he has to deal with. John Proctor is a man with a guilty conscience, which makes him indecisive until it is too late, audiences can relate this to their own, maybe far less dramatic lives. John Proctor has made a mistake; he has slept with his former servant girl, teenage Abigail Williams. It is also shown in Act 1 that he still lusts after her - when she asks if he looked up at her window for her, he replies "I may have looked up", this shows his characters weakness, but he remains strong willed. ...read more.


The fact that John Proctor's name means so much to him shows the audience that it is worth a lot, therefore well respected. His name is described as "weighty" by Parris and the court go out of their way in Act 4 to try and persuade John Proctor to change his mind and confess. This is a big difference from in Act 2, where Cheever and Hale choose to ignore Mary Warren's confession to owning the doll, which should have let Elizabeth Proctor off her charge. This shows the strength of their fanaticism about hunting down and persecuting witches; this later backfires on them. This is one of the reasons why they strive for John Proctor to give his name up, they fear the discontent which will come from Proctor be hanged. Parris' fears of being thrown from his pulpit are escalated to drive him to act against his character. This shows what an effective name John Proctor is to the society and perhaps explains why he values it so much himself. Proctor seems to identify the weaknesses of the court; he himself is not affected by the hysteria of the witches. He comments at the beginning of the play in Act 1, in the presence of Reverend Hale, Parris and Giles Corey, in a way that shows the audience and other characters that he does not believe in witches and this causes great discontent with the fundamental Christians of Salem, which interpret everything in the Bible literally. ...read more.


All these traits make John Proctor an admirable, realistic character, the type of character that audiences can understand and ultimately try to follow his example of following in his footsteps. Author miller uses the title 'The Crucible' as a metaphor for John Proctor's character in the Salem witch trials of 1962. His character is put under tremendous heat and comes out pure. Miller uses this realistic character to show how ridiculous but powerful hysteria can be. He portrays his own feeling about the McCarthy witch trials in America during the late 1940's and early 1950's through John Proctor's character. He shows through his play his feelings about how disloyal people were, but he could not do this without using the historical parallel, as he knew himself what height the communist hysteria had reached. Like the witch hysteria in Salem, he knew that he would be persecuted for writing about fear and conscience if he were to set the play in contemporary America. Miller uses John Proctor to almost play himself and to show what he would do if put in the position of being on trial. He later proved his point by not accusing any other people of being in communist parties when he really was put on trial, to get himself off the hook, like so many other people did. John Proctor plays the crucial role in 'The Crucible' of being the man that is on the brink of giving in but stands strong, even though he knew that one individual would not bring down the hysteria. ...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. Crucible : tension fear and hysteria

    John doesn't want to speak up. Elizabeth says he is hanging back because he is still attracted to Abigail. On her return from the village, Mary mentions that Elizabeth's name has come up in court. John's friends, Giles Corey and Francis Nurse (Rebecca Nurses husband), explain that both their wives have been charged and arrested.

  2. The Crucible - analysing acts 3 and 4.

    Proctor gives in, and [with a cry of his soul] Proctor says it is his name, and this shows that he does not want to give his name corruption; he wants his friends, who are dead or dieing, to know he is better then the confessors.

  1. How effective are the closing scenes in the play at resolving the conflict presented ...

    This may be because John realises that even though Elizabeth is a good Christian women she made the ultimate sacrifice in lying as she thought she needed to, to save him. In Act 4 when the stage directions say It is as though they stood in a spinning world it

  2. Crucible confession

    This also builds up the audiences expectations of John Proctor, they wonder of his relationship with his wife and why Abigail would want her dead. Very soon after this shocking truth is let known to the audience we meet Proctor.

  1. Choose one character from The Crucible and explore how they change throughout the course ...

    By just reading through the play there is no indication of how the character says what he/she is saying. With Proctor this indication are very useful as his mood changes in different situations and helps you to understand when he is angry like he is in the part of the act.


    (Act 1 pg 17) Salem was a theocratic state that was over ruled by strict religious people controlling the society. In the previous evidence it is shown by Arthur Miller that John Proctor has had an affair with Abigail Williams. This is absolutely not permissible because Abigail is seventeen years of age and John is almost twice her age.

  1. The Crucible Act 3

    "Beware this man, Your Excellency, this man is mischief." From this, it is extremely clear that he has his opinions which he tries very hard to get through to the judges as that they will agree with him. The key sign to see of Proctor is to see the way he deals with Mary Warren.

  2. Proctors faults and his traits that effect the narrative of the Play

    Proctor is aware that he can stop this uncontrollable hysteria in the town if he confesses to the courts, however this would mean for him to sacrifice his pride and sense of name, and therefore is his Hamartia in a sense.

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