John Proctor Honor Quotes In The Crucible

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Between one million and nine million Europeans were executed for practicing witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. John Proctor was one of them. Justice was important to some, while reputation was important to others. However, honor was important to all men in that time period, especially Proctor. They did not want to live without it. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the characterization of John Proctor through dialogue and stage directions is used to convey the message that it is better for one to die honorably than live dishonorably.
The characterization of John Proctor through dialogue is used to show how he is more willing to die with honor than live without it. As John and Elizabeth quarrel about John’s affair, he says,
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Because John cannot seem to remember his ten commandments while Hale is questioning him, “he is stuck. He counts back on his fingers, knowing one is missing” (67). Proctor is purposely trying to stall because he does not want to state the commandment about committing adultery. Nevertheless, John did have an affair with Abigail, but he does not want Hale to know because he fears he will be seen as a bad man. The seemingly amiable, Christian man does not want to have his honorable reputation taken away. He knows he made the mistake and believes he deserves proper justice for his mistakes. Also, when Elizabeth and John talk about the new court, Elizabeth mentions that they have put fourteen people in jail already, and “Proctor simply looks at her unable to grasp it” (52). He does not understand nor think it is reasonable for these people to be thrown into jail since they have not been given a fair trial yet. Proctor believes in honor and the right to justice. If these people do not get a chance to defend themselves and come up with a believable confession, they will be killed and have all honor and signs of a perfect reputation taken away. Proctor knows that this is not fair to anyone. The use of stage directions show that John Proctor is more willing to die than continue to live a life of dishonor and lack of justice.
Many people in the sixteen hundreds
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