John Proctor is the tragic hero of "The Crucible". Discuss

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John Procter is the tragic hero of The Crucible. Discuss and analyse this statement with reference to Miller’s characterisation, context, use of language and dramatic devices.

Heroes have been around since man came to being. They play an important role in society. One type of hero is a tragic hero. They are defined as people with a flaw. They realize their mistake, and redeem themselves for what they have done. John Proctor is a tragic hero because he has a tragic flaw, he realizes his mistake, and he redeems himself for what he has done by giving his life.

Proctor was a well-respected man across the community. He was a man of virtue. Everyone in Salem looked up to him. He was a hard worker and a good family man. It was for this same reason why Proctor became a tragic hero. His pride was what yielded him from stopping the witch trials from the beginning. He had a chance to tell the town, and the court, that Abigail’s claims were false. Nevertheless, Proctor did not open his mouth. He feared that revealing the truth would put him down on the social ladder; innocent people had to pay, for his flaw, with their life. Proctor was a proud man who values his good name. He would do anything to keep his name. However, at the end, he finally realized his happiness was less important than the truth. He realizes that he had made a mistake cheating on his wife. Proctor tries to act like a good man, but “he is not as good as Rebecca, his waivers before commuting himself to a course of action” (Hill, Phillip).

Pride is powerful. It can blind any man, no matter how physically or mentally strong you are. He was a proud man. Proctors dilemma with his pride was that he never wanted to be a part of the witch trials, because he feared that it would make him a hypocrite. John Proctor was a sinner; he committed adultery against his wife Elizabeth Proctor. He hesitated and feared to reveal his affairs with Abigail. The affair that shows that he “is not only a sinner against the morality of time, he sins against his own views of decency” (White, Sydney).

Committing adultery was the second flaw John Proctor had in the crucible. All of his misfortunes in the story can be traced back to that same problem. Proctor was a good man by heart but “he is sufficiently unvirtuos to have an affair with a teenager. He is physically, but not mentally strong” (White, Sydney).Proctors two flaws played hand in hand. He was guilty of adultery, but was too proud to confess his sin. He hesitated to expose Abigail to the courts until it was too late. He did not realize his flaw until it was too late. His ignorance also was also connected to the flaws. It was his ignorance that made Elizabeth go to jail. When Proctor was asked to recite the Ten Commandments, he remembered all of them except one. “Thou shall not commit adultery”. It was ironic because, the one commandment he broke, he could not remember.

Proctor finally reaches heroic stature when he decides his life is worth more than his pride. In the court, Proctor “admits to his carnal sin before the court in order to discredit Abigail in her attack against his wife, Elizabeth” (Pyle, Christian). He learned that he needed to answer to God and God only for forgiveness. He realized he would rather die on the truth than live his life based on a lie. However, before Proctor died he came to terms with his wife Elizabeth, asking her to forgive him. Then Proctor refused to sign the confession. Proctor recognizes that despite his sinful nature, it is not right for him to commit an unjust act. The unjust act was signing the confession. He would not sign a lie because “Proctor insists on the truth even if it means his destruction” (Rollyson, Carl). However, he gets to keep his name.

The biggest piece of evidence of Proctor being a tragic hero was that he died due to his own faults. It is ironic that only just before his death that “Proctor finally peace with his wife but cannot live with her happily ever again” (Bloom, Harold). It was his mistake and pride that drove him to his death. That mistake was Abigail Williams. His affair with Abigail caused Abigail to be jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and accused her of witchcraft in an attempt to get rid of proctors’ wife. In some cases, his affair was a bigger flaw than his pride. Being the good person Proctor was, he stood by her and tried to defend her innocence. As the trial went on, Proctor himself was accused of witchcraft by his house cleaner Mary Warren. At that point he condemns the court and dams all that is apart of it to hell.

Proctor affirms himself morally by being honest. He refused to reveal, publically, his confession of a lie. All along all John Proctor wanted was personal integrity. He reaffirms “I am John Proctor”, Knowing he has lost everything exept his name.

Thru this story proctors moral strength was tested Proctor emerges out of all of this, not with fame or riches, but with his name. Proctor had to decide what he was willing to do in order to remain a proper human being. Proctor redeems himself by paying the ultimate price, his life. He is a fine example of a tragic hero. He had a flaw, realized his flaw. Moreover, at the end he redeems himself. Proctor died knowing that he did not let Abigail and the witch trials get the best of him. As was once stated Pride is powerful. Proctor lived his entire life a proud man, and died a proud man.

John Proctor was the play’s tragic hero; being honest, upright, and dull-spoken, he was a good man, but one with a fatal secret.

He was a very blunt-spoken and calm man. He was very peaceful and almost never turned to violence for any reason. Even with adversarial figures, he was slow to extreme anger. Though, if peaceful talk did not seem to solve problems when attempting to solve them maturely, he would continue to become angrier and angrier until eventually he might have used violence. At one time in the play, he threatened to whip his wife, Elizabeth when friendly discussion was not working. Proctor was probably always a soft-spoken man, and probably tended to keeping his thoughts in his head and to himself.

One major mistake he made was having an affair with Abigail Williams, who was seventeen years of age at the time. And, similar to what was stated in the end of the first paragraph, he kept it to himself. Abigail began to be jealous of Elizabeth Proctor, and so the times of people accusing others of witchcraft began. That made John guilty of having a big role in firing up the witch trials in Salem. One good thing about John was that he was an upright man and stood up for what he believed for. Throughout much of the play, he kept that secret very deep inside of him and never talked about it with anyone. He felt horrible for doing it, and wished he could have undone his actions as they were very wrong and also against the laws of the town.

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One last good thing about Proctor was that he was an honest man. Towards the end of the witch trials, he publicly confessed his adulterated past about Abigail. Everything he told the court was of true nature and he did not intend to hide anything more. He signed his own written confession, denunciating the end of the witch trials. The only reasons he had not shared the truth with the court earlier in the play was because of his immense pride in himself, and that he was too concerned with what the public opinion of his name would be. But, ...

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