Comparing Shakespeare's Macbeth And John Proctor As A Tragic Hero

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A tragic hero is a character who has the potential to have heroic qualities, but their fate is a tragic downfall. Aristotle defined a tragic hero as “a person who must evoke a sense of pity and fear in the audience. He is considered a man of misfortune that comes to him through error of judgment”. Some tragic heroes in literature are John Proctor in The Crucible and Macbeth in the play Macbeth. It is possible for two characters to be labeled a tragic hero, but the audience can feel differently about them. A tragic hero is usually an average man with a fault who needs to use his strength to do what is right. The situation that arises is usually due to one of the character’s weaknesses. Both tragic hero's downfalls revolve around society in their time and the pressure from those around them. John Proctor is viewed as a hero by the readers. Because of everything he sacrificed for what he believed in, he gains a prodigious amount of respect from the audience. It was very honorable that he was always adamant with his beliefs and opinions. John was put into a difficult situation when he was accused of witchcraft. Instead of being vindictive and rash, he did what he thought was right according to his religion. Although John had already damned himself to hell for committing adultery with Abigail Williams, he thought god would have wanted him to stick to the truth instead of lying just to stay alive. Elizabeth Proctor understood because she…show more content…
Society’s expectations influence the decisions made and emphasize the flaws of the average man. John Proctor was faced with pretenses which ultimately ruined his life. Macbeth’s hunger for power wrecked his life and turned him into an unscrupulous being. The actions that each character took affected how the reader felt about them and determined their fate. Although both men are very different, their biggest correlation are their fatal
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