Tragic Hero In Oedipus And Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Oedipus, the brainchild of Sophocles in his play Oedipus the King, matches well to what Aristotle defined as a tragic hero (Tragic hero as defined by Aristotle). He possesses hamartia (tragic flaw), peripeteia (reversal), and anagnorisis (full knowledge). This archetype of a tragic hero, though, was not rigidly followed by the modern model of a tragic hero. Perhaps the most prominent example of the twentieth-century tragic hero is John Proctor, the protagonist in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Though John Proctor shares the many characteristics of an ancient tragic hero i.e: hamartia, peripeteia and anagnorisis, he is different by definition of a tragic hero as interpreted by Arthur Miller. Both Oedipus and John Proctor witnessed their downfall…show more content…
John Proctor did not want his name blackened by his scandal with Abigail. This hindered him from confessing to adultery with Abigail, which might halt the trial. At last in his confession to witchcraft, Proctor cried: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (The Crucible P.211). It is apparent that John Proctor would give away anything to protect his name and his pride. In addition, another flaw of Proctor is his willingness to “lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing--his sense of personal dignity” (Kendall, John Proctor: The Tragic Hero of Tragic Times). In this way, John Proctor turns from passive to the injustice to active in standing against indignation. In other words, submissive is flawless while discontent is flawed. When Elizabeth Proctor was sent to prison for witchcraft, Proctor decided to save his wife even if it meant to confess…show more content…
In Oedipus the King, Oedipus is flowing royal blood because he is the child of Laius and Jocasta (although before his anagnorisis he thought Polybus and Mérope gave birth to him). Furthermore, because he defeated the Sphinx, the Thebans crowned Oedipus as the new king. He was considered second to the god by citizens (Sophocles episode 1). Therefore, he could not believe he committed the crime of father murdering and mother marrying because of his position as a king, a paradigm of the
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