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A list of all the characters in The Crucible

John Proctor is a passive protagonist; for the first two acts, he does little to affect the main action of the play. (Read more on this in our section.) By the time Act III rolls around, however, Spurred by his wife's arrest, he marches off to stop the spiraling insanity of the witch trials—and hopefully regain his own integrity in the process.



Proctor goes to court armed with three main weapons. There's Abigail's admission to him that there was no witchcraft. Also, he has Mary Warren's testimony that she and the other girls have been faking everything. Last (but not least) he's prepared to admit that he and Abigail had an affair. This would stain her now saintly reputation and discredit her in the eyes of the court. Between the wily machinations of Abigail and all of these tactics fail. John only ends up publicly staining his good name and getting himself condemned for witchcraft.

Even though John doesn't achieve his goals of freeing Elizabeth and stopping the overall madness, he does take two significant steps toward regaining self-respect in Act III. One: he doesn't stop fighting the false accusations even after he finds out that Elizabeth is pregnant and therefore safe for a while. He feels a greater duty to his community and proceeds anyway. Two: by openly admitting his adulterous lechery, he is no longer a hypocrite. He has publicly embraced his sin.

In Act IV, Proctor conquers the final hurdle on his path to redemption. This is no easy task; he stumbles a bit along the way. In order to save his life, he is tempted into admitting that he is indeed in league with the Devil. He justifies this lie to himself by saying that he's a bad person anyway, so what's the difference? At least this way, he'll be alive:

In Act 4 of The Crucible, why does John Proctor ..

PROCTOR, his smile widening: Ah, you're wicked yet aren't y'! […] You'll be clapped in the stocks before you're twenty. (I.178)

Crucible Essay John Proctor - 851 Words - StudyMode

Crucible John Proctor Essays - StudentShare

PROCTOR, with great force of will, but not quite looking at her: I have been thinking I would confess to them, Elizabeth. [...] What say you? If I give them that?

PROCTOR: It is a pretense, Elizabeth [...] I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man. She is silent. My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before.[...] Spite only keeps me silent. It is hard to give a lie to dogs. (IV.188-200)

Free Essays on Arthur Miller, John Proctor and The Crucible

John Proctor Essay Examples - Sample Essays – Online …

John Proctor, The Crucible's protagonist, has some major issues. But we can see why. Back in the day, he had everything your average Puritan man could want: a farm to ceaselessly toil upon, three sons to discipline, and a wife to make a home with. Proctor was who spoke his mind. Around town, his name was synonymous with honor and integrity. He took pleasure in exposing hypocrisy and was respected for it. Most importantly, John Proctor respected himself.

Enter: Abigail, the play's antagonist. traipsed in to John's life (while Mrs. Proctor was super ill, btw) and, before he knew it, his good life was bad, bad, bad. John made the mistake of committing adultery with her. To make things worse, it was also lechery (Proctor was in his thirties and Abigail was just seventeen—yuck). All it took was one shameful encounter to destroy John's most prized possession: his self-respect.

When we first meet John Proctor halfway through Act I, we discover a man who has become the thing he hates most in the world: a hypocrite. He is caged by guilt. The emotional weight of the play rests on Proctor's quest to regain his lost self-image, his lost goodness. In fact, it is his journey from guilt to redemption that forms the central spine of The Crucible. John Proctor is a classic Arthur Miller hero: a dude who struggles with the incompatibility of his actions with his self-image. (Willy Loman of , Eddie Carbone of , and Joe Keller of all have similar issues.)

Character Analysis Essay The Crucible John Proctor
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The Crucible: John Proctor as a Tragic Hero Essay …

The key clue here is the stage direction. It seems to indicate that Proctor is amused and charmed by Abigail's naughty antics. This would be in keeping with his personality. We see him challenging authority, from Parris to Danforth, throughout the play.

Crucible decision essay john proctors | The Institute of …

But probably the cause of John's transgression is much deeper than base physical reasons.

It's also quite possible that John Proctor was attracted to Abigail's subversive personality. Miller seems to hint at this in the first scene where we see them together. Abigail tells John that all about witches isn't true. She and the other girls were just in the woods having a dance party with Tituba. Miller writes:

The crucible essay on john proctor - Toad's Place

Well, apparently John's wife Elizabeth was a little frigid (which she even admits), and when tempted by the fiery, young Abigail, John just couldn't resist. Elizabeth was sick while Abigail was working for the Proctors, so she probably wasn't giving her husband much, erm, attention.

Crucible John Proctor Essay | Bartleby

Act I of The Crucible opens with Salem’s minister, the Reverend Parris, watching over his sick daughter Betty and wondering what is wrong with her. We soon learn that that Betty is sick because of... witchcraft.

John Proctor in the Crucible Essay - Paper Topics

However, when he's asked to actually sign his name, John refuses. The act of putting his name to paper is just too much. By signing his name he would have signed away his soul. Though he would have saved his life, goodness would've been forever out of his reach. With this final valiant act, John Proctor comes to a kind of peace with himself. He says,

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