Do you consider Proctor to be heroic?
As Proctor signs away his soul and seals himself to lies, he cries the agonising statement that renders the audience and readers helpless. “Proctor: [with a cry of his soul] … I have given you my soul, leave me my name!”Is Proctor a hero? What is a hero? What makes somebody a hero? Hero: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. [dictionary.com] Every hero has a flaw; an Achilles heel, so to speak. This is usually the issue that signifies the hero’s collapse – it is what makes them human and able to relate to. Miller portrays Proctor as a character of very little self-compassion; so little that this is what almost brings Proctor’s downfall. But the essence that makes a hero who they are is the fact that they manage to either work with or overcome these flaws. In the very beginning of the play, Miller fabricates Proctor as a well respected character, who knows from the very start that he is no saint “Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud”. In relation to the other characters, Proctor was a man whose good opinion would be a privilege they treasure “He was a kind of man powerful in body”. This complex character Miller had contrived was someone they would not want to oppose in an argument – could this be the hero of our story? A character whose portrayal is one of a looming opposition who is, if anything, feared by the fictional people of Salem? In my opinion, when first reading this and from what I imagined the audience must have felt as the play was being narrated, I felt that Proctor’s character was portrayed as a poisonous wallflower, forever opening self inflicted wounds and taking out his resentment on others “He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct.” In no way did I consider him as a hero, a saviour, a saint, or “a good man”. Miller...
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