Character Analysis Act 1- John Proctor
How believable does he come across?
John Proctor is probably the main character of this play. He enters shortly after Mary, Abigail and Mercy discuss the happenings of the night before. He is a very upright character, although has committed an awful sin despite this. He had an affair with Abigail Williams, who is only 17. He is ashamed of this, and clearly shows that he does not want to repeat such an incident in the future. “Put it out of mind, Abby” (page 17). He is strongly committed to his wife, Elizabeth, and is determined to avoid any further contact with Abigail. “I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again” (page 18) Perhaps Proctor is so willing to forget his affair with Abigail because he does not want to bring shame to his name. He is powerful in his community, “respected and even feared in Salem”, knowing the way things should be done, and fighting until they are that way. A good example of this is his distaste for Parris and his preaching. He speaks his mind as he tells Parris, “Can you speak one minute without we land in hell again? I am sick of Hell” (page 24). He obviously has quite an influence, as in the bit of prose Miller writes before Proctor’s first lines, he mentions that “in Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly” (page 16). He seems intimidating, someone to be scared of. Despite the fact that he did not abide by the rules once, he does come across as someone who does so most of the time, and expects this of others around him. Before Reverend Hale comes, Proctor asks Parris whether he consulted the authorities beforehand. “A Proctor is always marked for calumny”. In Act 1 especially, Proctor comes across as fairly sharp-tongued. He openly says what he feels, and as suggested by the quote above, often makes damaging statements about someone. Often these may not even be true. Overall, the writer creates a believable image of Proctor. He seems tough, unbreakable,...
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