Scandal. Sex. Persecution. Desecration. These four distinct concepts are recurring themes which guide the life of John Proctor throughout the tale that is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Reading Between the Lines Pride is a personal commitment. Keep in mind how pride connects to personal commitment when talking about a tragic hero in The Crucible. Although many people may assume that Reverend Hale is the tragic hero of The Crucible, I believe John Proctor is because how he makes Mary Warren confess to the court about how Abigail and the girls are lying about conjuring the devil, Proctor also confesses about having an affair with Abigail. Even though knowing the consequences for his action Proctor would do anything in his supremacy to save his spouse from prison or the act of being hanged. In act two of The Crucible Proctor demands that Mary Warren confess to the court regarding the young women lying about conjuring Satan.
Since John wanted to devote his life to God, his decision to tear up his confession allowed him to keep his pride and remain honorable by the end of the play. In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller the written trials were corrupting the town, and it was all because of the lies told by the younger girls in town. Since John Proctor is bound to God, his choice to sacrifice his life makes his death honorable. John Proctor is trying to be a better man for his wife Elizabeth because of what he did to her. Since John is trying to be a better man for his wife, he tried to prove it by attempting to accuse Abigail of lying.
How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(1272). These words by John Proctor exemplify his character by making, in my opinion, not a very wise decision. In the play The Crucible, John Proctor’s unwillingness can be seen as selfish because others hung before he confessed his affair with Abigail but he redeemed himself by undoing his confession and refusing to sell the court other names, which Arthur Miller used to convey a message about a crucible being put through a fire/trial and coming out in its purest form, through the character of John
Proctor values his life but, he does not want to be remembered as a liar who is willing to do whatever it takes for his own life. Also, Proctor is thinks about his children. He does not want to be a bad role model for their children. During the scene where Proctor had the choice to confess, “Proctor tears the paper and crumples it and he is weeping in fury, but erect”(133). Proctor tears the confession paper because he realizes that honor is more important.
Honorable Last Actions In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor is portrayed as a sinful, yet appreciated man who died a moral but undeserving death. During the Salem Witch Hunt, many innocent people lost their lives. Like others, John chose death over living a life that was deceitful. John Proctor’s last actions were noble and an act of righteousness. Along with his land and his family, Proctor valued his name as most do.
In The Crucible, that character of John Proctor is an arrogant, stubborn man who got caught “with his hand in the cookie jar” and ended up paying the well-deserved, ultimate price for his actions. Throughout the book there are examples of his arrogance and stubbornness as he interacts with his wife, Elizabeth Procter, his mistress Abigail Williams, and the larger Salem community. John Proctor, both in the book and real life, prances around doing whatever he pleases and expects no consequences. For example, here is a quote from “John Proctor: First Male Accused Witch” article, “Various witnesses testified that Proctor threatened or admitted to beating several people involved in the witch trials” (Brooks P16). This shows how arrogant John is
He was a very intelligent and hard-working man. John was also well-respected because he was a honest and upright guy that spoke his mind. An example from the book, “Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud.” (893). The people in the community of Salem respected John and viewed him as a independent and well-worked man. In Addition, John Proctor was also a tragic hero because he redeemed himself from a mistake that he made, and that was committing Adultery.
John also risked his reputation, dissing a reverend to another reverend, which also takes some bravery. In the third act, John, Hale, Danforth, Hathorne, Cheever, Abigail, Mary Warren, the other men and girls are all present in the courtroom. John, furious that nobody believes him what type of person Abigail is, snaps right in front of everyone, “You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!”(3.1161-62). To call a young girl a whore in front of the court, really is something that takes a character with such selflessness to do. To do such a thing, one must not care about their reputation at all, which is what John exactly is.
In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor was accused of witchcraft. John Proctor was a man of great integrity and knew he did nothing wrong. He was given the choice to confess and lie or be hung. Being the honest and stubborn man that he was, he decided his name was more important than his life. John struggled both internally and with others while trying to ﬁght for what he thought was right.