John Proctor As A Tragic Hero In The Crucible English Essay

1206 words - 5 pages

John Proctor as a Tragic Hero in The Crucible
The ancient Greeks invented tragedy for theater in order to explore concepts of humanity
like duty, suffering, and fate. These tragedies would often follow the story of a good character
whose downfall was brought by their own flaws. Although they have suffered, the character
accepts their ultimate demise with dignity. This archetype is known as the tragic hero. In Arthur
Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor is an honest and respected man in the Puritan town of Salem.
However, guilt over an affair he had with a certain Abigail Williams plagues him. When Abigail
starts to cry “witch” on innocent Salemers, ultimately leading to their execution, Proctor
hesitates to testify to her lies, fearing that his lechery will be exposed. When the truth comes out,
he is not believed and it is he, not Abigail, that is jailed for perjury and witchcraft. His only way
to escapes the noose is to confess to practicing witchcraft, but it is a lie. When push comes to
shove, he refuses to sign himself to lies, ripping his confession and assuring his death. John
Proctor is a classic example of a tragic hero. The people of Salem viewed him highly for his
honesty, his adultery gives him a tragic flaw, and he accepted his demise with dignity.
Proctor starts off in the play honored as a someone with weight in the town. He is known
in Salem as straightforward and honest, at times erring on the side of callousness. His character
description claims, “In Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly—and a Proctor is
always marked for calumny therefore … [he was] respected and even feared in Salem” (Miller
19). Because Miller takes the time to point out these details, this sentence can be taken with extra
weight. Further evidence arises in Act IV as Reverend Parris warns Deputy Governor Danforth,
“It were another sort that hanged till now … John Proctor is not Isaac Ward that drank his family
to ruin” (Miller 117). It is important to note that Reverend Parris, for the entire play, has only
been looking out for himself and his own well being. In Act III, he argued against Proctor’s
arguments, claiming that Proctor was trying to ruin his name. So him arguing to save Proctor’s
life out of fear that the people will riot if he, as well as other respected Salemers, is hanged is a
testament to his value to the community.
It could be argued that John Proctor could have survived the Salem witch trials had he not
lusted for Abigail Williams. In a land where the Bible is law, a married man like Proctor having
an affair with a servant girl is a heinous crime. Even Arthur Miller took the time to write that he
was a sinner in both the eyes of society at the time and by his own standards. The audience is
introduced to the affair in the first act as he struggles to get Abigail to leave their relationship in
the past. Angrily, Abigail lashes out at him, raving,
“I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my...

Other Essays On John Proctor as a Tragic Hero in The Crucible - English - Essay

A Tragic Hero Essay

849 words - 4 pages . The fall is not pure loss. And though it arouses solemn emotion, tragedy does not leave the audience in a state of depression. Using Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero, we will show that Oedipus in Oedipus the King is in fact a tragic hero and how his decisions led to his downfall.Oedipus grew up the son of a king. This alone would give him all rights to being born of a noble stature. As we learn in the story this stays true since his real

Macbeth A Tragic Hero Essay

597 words - 3 pages with the lowliest of dogs. Inthe next act, Act 4 three witches use very lowly animals to describe Macbeths kingship. Insc. 1 lines 1-30 the witches say that Macbeths is very similar to the hedgehog, toads andlizards. These animals describe Macbeth in different ways. The hedge hog shows thatMacbeth is as greedy as a pig. The lizard shows that he is as slippery and slimy as a lizard.Finally the toad might be symbolic of Macbeths soul, his soul is

How Macbeth is a Tragic Hero Analysis - AP English Literature - Essay

607 words - 3 pages Tragic heroes in stories are known as tragic because while they are heroes, they have a flaw that causes them to bring pain and suffering to themselves or those around them. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth starts off as a hero straight off the battlefield that kills a traitor for king Duncan and becomes a hero. As the play goes on, however, Macbeth's ultimate desire for power causes him to hurt people around him that he once cared about and

Reverend John Hale Dynamic Character - The Crucible - New Richmond English - Essay

636 words - 3 pages Zoe Fisher Advanced English III Mrs. Parker 14 November 2018 From Naively Determined to Determined Naively Think back to three years ago — are you the same person? Seven years? Ten years? Surely you are not. No person is the same for a long span of time. In literature, the changing of a character throughout a story is referred to as being dynamic. In Arthur Miller’s play, ​The Crucible​, Reverend John Hale’s way of thinking about witchcraft

The Role Of Reputation in The Crucible - English 4 - Essay

939 words - 4 pages Hawkins Andrew Hawkins Heather Mullman English II Pre-AP/Honors 6 February 2019 The Role of Reputation in The Crucible Reputation is an extremely important aspect of society, and was even of greater importance in the 17th century. Without a satisfactory reputation, it's near impossible to completely fit into society. Throughout The Crucible, the play by Arthur Miller, reputation is seen as a saving grace for some, or a fatal flaw for the unlucky

Perception Of A Tragic Hero: "Hamlet"

1692 words - 7 pages Perceptions and understanding of Shakespearean language evolve as time passes. It is reasonable to believe that Laertes is more of a tragic hero than Hamlet. In order for this to be seen effectively, a comparison must be made between Laertes and Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, Laertes is a character who grabs the audience's attention. His devotion to succeed, despite disadvantages is both motivational and tragic situations, is inspirational to some


725 words - 3 pages A tragic hero in a play is a character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy. In Antigone Creon, the king of Thebes, is portrayed as the tragic hero. During the play Creon is forced to live, knowing that threepeople are dead because of his ignorance, which is a punishment worse than death. Consequently, Creons arrogant pride, unescapable fate, and war within

The Five Stages Of A Tragic Hero And Oedipus' Going Through Them

619 words - 3 pages The True Tragic HeroIn Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, every reader is riding a roller coaster of his life. Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero is one person who goes through five stages which in Sophocles' play the main character Oedipus does. The five stages that he goes through are pre-eminence, flaw, fall, gaining of insight, and rise.Pre-eminent is one who surpasses all the others or should be looked up to. Oedipus at the beginning of the

A basic drama essay on The Crucible

445 words - 2 pages Year 10 Drama The CrucibleI have selected Abigail as the character who I would play. Abigail is a seventeen year old who has been caught attempting witch craft with her cousin and her friends. She is being questioned by her Uncle Paris who saw her doing witch craft in the forest.The scene starts off with Susanna bringing news from the doctor, Abigail asks Susanna to "Speak nothin' of it to the village" I think this is because she is scared that

The Characters In "Crucible"

556 words - 3 pages Many authors take advantage of their outstanding writing abilities to convey their personal beliefs to the world. Arthur Miller is a prime example of a crafty playwright who divulges hidden messages through drama. There are many similarities between the personalities of the characters in The Crucible and the personality of Arthur Miller. John Proctor, the protagonist of The Crucible, is comparable to Arthur Miller because he, too, was put into

How did change effect characters in the crucible - high school/english H - essay

1363 words - 6 pages practicing witchcraft. After a change in heart, John destroyed the paper and decided that living a life knowing that he is innocent would be too much to bear for him as well as his family. Why would Proctor not choose to lie so he could live? John chose to die “because it is name! Because cannot have another in life! Because lies and signs to lies!” (Miller, act IV) Proctor had chosen to save his reputation rather than his life. At the beginning

Similar Papers

"The Crucible" By Arthur Miller: John Proctor Charachter Analysis: Outline

649 words - 3 pages Kaylin TingleAdvanced American StudiesMrs. Berry/ Mrs. Miller30th September 2003Character Analysis OutlineI. Introduction and ThesisA. The Crucible by Arthur MillerB. Brief synopsis of playC. Additional DataD. Thesis: John Proctor, a small farmer in Salem, stands up for what he believes in, while nearly everyone else in the village of Salem gives into the mass hysteria.II. Proctor stands up in Act IA. Hale comes to Parris's house to see BettyB

Mac Beth As A Tragic Hero Essay

863 words - 4 pages in his great office,' (Shakespeare 57) This, of course, makes the crime even worse. After all he is not killing a bad king. But did Macbeth decide to kill Duncan by himself? Who persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan?As with every tragic hero in Shakespearean times, Macbeth must be tempted or persuaded to commit a crime. Lady Macbeth is the catalyst. She does a very good job of persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan. When Macbeth refuses to kill Duncan

The Real Tragic Hero Of Antigone Ib English Essay

583 words - 3 pages Aaliyah Jackson Ms. MacArthur IB English 8 May 2018 Prompt #2: The Role of Antigone In the play ​Antigone, ​Sophocles never really make it clear who is the real tragic hero. The readers can conflicted as for is Antigone the real tragic hero of this play. However, I saw Antigone as a catalyst of the story, not the tragic hero. Antigone is the character who made the real tragic hero, Creon, recognize his faults and flaws. Creon fit the

King Lear As Tragic Hero Essay

1260 words - 6 pages A tragedy in Shakespearean terms could be defined as a drama or literary work in which the main character, the tragic hero, is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances, such as death (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition). The main character in the play King Lear is Lear himself, the