Hubris In The Crucible

850 Words4 Pages
A tragic hero, according to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, demonstrates great bravery and courage in the midst of adversity. He presents himself as a good person and good leader. However, this hero experiences a downfall due to his own pride, or hubris. As a result, the hero faces nemesis, his fate due to their tragic flaw, and evokes a catharsis from the audience (). John Proctor, Arthur Miller’s main character in The Crucible, portrays these characteristics of a tragic hero. The people of Salem view John as a good person: “No, you cannot break your charity with your minister. You are another kind, John.” But, like a tragic hero, John faces a downfall due to his pride and mistakes: “God help me, I lusted.”

HUBRIS

In The Crucible, John Proctor has great pride in his reputation. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero’s pride or arrogance is called hubris. A tragic hero’s hubris causes his or her downfall. John experiences two critical events where his pride causes his downfall. First, John’s pride keeps him from revealing the truth of his affair with Abigail Williams. This starts the beginning of his downfall. Secondly, John’s pride determines his
…show more content…
John Proctor’s affair with Abigail Williams, a seventeen year old girl in the town of Salem, serves as his tragic flaw. The people of Salem respect John as a hard-working farmer and a good person. However, only his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, and Abigail know about the affair. John’s pride and reputation keeps this affair hidden from the rest of the town. When Abigail starts to accuse people of witchcraft, this secret catches up to John. In an attempt to take John for herself, Abigail accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft. At the end of Act III, Abigail finally accuses John of witchcraft. All of this happened because of John’s secret affair with Abigail: “God help me, I lusted.” Therefore, John must suffer the
Open Document