Friday, October 15, 2010

Essay on John Proctor as a Tragic Hero

Essay on John Proctor

The Crucible is about a society composed of heavily religious Puritans. It is based in Massachusetts around the time of the early 1950’s. During this time, a farmer named John Proctor commits a crime of adultery with a former slave that went by the name of Abigail Williams. Abigail, Betty, Mary Warren and other girls were found dancing naked in the woods by Reverend Parris. Some of the girls pretend to be sick and this leads to witchcraft in the town. The girls started blaming other respected people of the town as witches. Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor’s wife, is also been accused of witchcraft, and to save her John admits that he has committed the crime of adultery, and also says that Elizabeth never lies. Abigail accuses John of witchcraft and to save his respected name in the village it costs him his life.

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Although John Proctor did cheat on his wife Elizabeth, he was depicted as an honest and hardworking individual. The fact that John Proctor cheated on his wife didn’t mean that he did not love and respect his wife greatly. The love shown for John Proctor by Elizabeth is exposed when he is on trial and the court calls Elizabeth as a witness. The judge asked Elizabeth if John Proctor did in fact commit adultery and she replies negatively. John Proctor had already admitted to the judge that he did commit the crime and his reliance on Elizabeth was over with. An act of goodness on Elizabeth’s part for John Proctor ironically worked against him in court.

Abigail Williams is the niece of Reverend Parris, the hypocritical preacher of Salem. She commits adultery with John Proctor and is tried for it in court. She also said that she saw Reverend Hale’s wife with the devil himself. This is to try to get Hale out of the village and be sent away as well. Abigail was the kind of character that had a good mind but used it for the bad and not for the good. She is far superior to the other in the village intellectually and demonstrates this when she greedily persuades her fellow girlfriends to play along in her lies and hysteria.

The lies about Elizabeth Proctor being a witch don’t pay off in the end because John Proctor testifies against her. This was something the he did not want to do because it made him look like he wasn’t the honest person everyone thought he was but he knew he had to do it for his and Elizabeth’s sake. Although John Proctor is executed, he went down knowing that he did what was right by choosing to protect his good name in the village. Abigail loses her fight for John Proctor and is sent away. Abigail was from then on known to the public as a woman that would have never lost her struggle if it weren’t for her mistakes.

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