The Crucible: Character Analysis of John Proctor

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John Proctor is an honest, hardworking, good man except for his one flaw that became a downfall for him and other accused “witches” living in Salem. His lust for Abigail that led to an affair created jealousy towards his wife Elizabeth, and resulted in Abigail spreading lies and causing witch hysteria to arise. After the trials began, John realized that he could out Abigail and make everyone see her for what she was (a liar) and put an end to many innocent deaths by confessing to his adultery and proving Abigail was only extracting revenge on his wife Elizabeth Proctor. He tried to save his reputation through a testimony of Mary Warren without revealing his crucial information but it failed. When this happened he publicly proclaimed his guilt and confessed, calling Abigail Williams a whore, but his admission was too late and could not stop everything that Abigail had already set in motion. John’s penance only resulted in his arrest and conviction of a witch, and he feels culpable for allowing Abigail and her friends to take it as far as they did. In his final act, John Proctor still wants to save his name, but for personal and religious reasons, rather than pride and fear of the public's opinion. John was given the chance to concede and live, but he declined, which was a true private and religious stand. If he did attest it would dishonor those condemned that stood beside him, who were not afraid to die for the truth. A false admission would also dishonor him and his soul. By refusing to confess, Proctor proclaims that such integrity would bring him into heaven, and he goes to the gallows with his fellow prisoners, redeemed for his earlier sins.
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