John Proctor The Crucible Essay

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The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, "Definition of a tragedy: a hero destroyed by the excess of his virtues". The reader finds this statement to resonate with the character, John Proctor, in Arthur Miller’s play, "The Crucible". Arthur Miller, a talented American playwright, wrote "The Crucible" in 1953. The play is used as an allegory to criticize Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist investigations during the McCarthyism era. Set in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, this play delves into many themes and characteristics, including mass hysteria, greed, and hysteria. However, the play implements many literary devices of what makes a tragic hero, specifically with protagonist John Proctor. …show more content…

After his months spent in the dungeon with no confession, the morning of John’s execution arrived. The morning of his execution, he encountered a visit between judges Danforth and Hawthorne, Reverend Samuel Parris, and Hale. During this encounter, all four men except Hale were trying to get John to sign his confession of witchcraft because if he did, this news would galvanize the town of Salem because John is a very respected figure in town. The reader notices this when Hathorne says, “God be Praised! It is a providence! He will confess! Proctor will confess!” (Miller 127). Proctor did end up confessing since he wanted to live and see his boys grow up, as well as be with Elizabeth. However, the turning point of the entire play is when he signs the confession but then rips it. The reader notices that when Proctor states, “I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs” (Miller 133). This action not only shocks the other characters but also represents a turning point in Proctor's transformation. He denounces the corrupt system and reclaims his integrity by rejecting the fake confession. Proctor's peripeteia represents his transformation and his choice to give his life in order to reveal the truth and combat the injustice that permeates

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