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John Proctor Tragic Hero

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What is a tragic hero? The most common definition of a tragic hero is a literary character that displays characteristics of bravery and courage, yet is destined to downfall. Often times, these characters have a tragic flaw which leads to the ultimate collapse of the hero. In Arthur Miller’s tragic play, The Crucible, John Proctor is a good, well-respected man, however he has one fatal flaw. His secret affair with Abigail Williams spurred the jealousy that Abigail has towards Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor’s wife. Abigail then began to turn John Proctor’s life around by accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft. This fatal flaw eventually led John Proctor to his own death. The play is set in Salem during the Puritan era where many people, like Elizabeth…show more content…
His initial attempt to save his wife is displayed when the court officials come to take Elizabeth away. John quickly becomes so furious that he tears the warrant for Elizabeth’s arrest and tells the officials to leave. He later shows signs of being a tragic hero in Act III when he goes to the court in attempts to rescue Elizabeth, but it only results in him being accused. Mary Warren, the Proctor’s maid, goes the court with John to reveal the false accusations made by Abigail and the other girls. She suddenly breaks down in front of the judges and turns on John, calling him a “devil’s man”. Mary Warren later states, “My name, he want my name. ‘I’ll murder you,’ he says, ‘if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court,’ he says!” (III.226). Even though Mary’s accusation is not true, John is blamed guilty for witchcraft. He ultimately fails in attempting to rescue his wife and instead gets forced into the witch hysteria. He proves to be a tragic hero because he ends up sacrificing his life due to an event that was a result of his own fault. Despite his good efforts, he was in a no-win situation; he could either live by lying or executed by telling the truth. Besides attempting to save his wife, John Proctor is also a tragic hero by trying to prove that Abigail and the girls are making false
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