Why Is John Proctor Hesitant To Expose Abigail's Lies?

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Focus Question # 1 Why is John Proctor hesitant to expose Abigail’s lies? In The Crucible, it is clear that from his introduction to the climax of the play, John Proctor develops as a character. At the end, he is courageous and determined to stop the witch trials from claiming anymore victims. However, in the beginning of the play, as well as the beginnings of the witch hunting, Proctor is hesitant to testify against Abigail. There are many causes as to why this may be; from Proctor’s supposed lingering feelings for Abigail as he had stated, “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time” (page 24), to Proctor wanting to protect his own reputation. Were Proctor to testify against Abigail, it would in character for her to turn against him, and expose him of committing adultery. Not only would Abigail’s newfound status as a “saint” land Proctor in being exposed as a lecher to…show more content…
Angered by this, Proctor physically attacks Abigail and denounces her as a whore, and has to back up what he says with evidence. Overcome with emotion, and distraught of how far he allowed the court’s corruption to continue, he confesses to having an affair with Abigail and her plot to trying to rid of Elizabeth in hopes of replacing her. By telling the truth, John shows growth in his character, as he accepts that his good name must be ruined to protect innocent victims, ““I have made a bell in my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name – and you will believe me. Mr. Danforth” (page 116)! By confessing to his lecherous crime, Proctor tries in vain to prove that Abigail is making false accusations to the court for the sole reason of harming Elizabeth. This is all for naught, however, as Elizabeth eventually damns them both when she unintentionally lies to protect her

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