The Crucible: John Proctor - True Hero

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Puritan Pages: 2 (884 words) Published: June 8, 2011
In the play the crucible, Arthur miller uses the character of John Proctor who, residing in hysteria-shaken Puritan Salem, rises beyond the hysteria and proves himself a true hero through his heroic virtues, challenging of authority and power, self-sacrifice and self-realisation. Proctor is the only individual willing to question the puritan belief system. He believes that no man should have control over the life of another. Only God has the power to judge and condemn. Therefore, choosing the more tragic outcome by not allowing himself to lose his individuality and sense of self-conflict of ethics between what is right from wrong as well as sheer lack of common sense. He also sacrifices his life and reputation for what he believes is right, his integrity and his wife. A hero is a person who has heroic virtues such as honesty, bravery, individuality and a will that is not easily swayed. John Proctor has all these virtues. Although at first Proctor isn’t completely honest in that he ‘lusted’ (98) for Abigail and was ‘a lecher’ (97) he did ‘like a good Christian confess’ (55) his sin to his wife and asked her forgiveness for his mistake, which in those times, many men would not do because men were considered above women. He did not let the ‘spirit twist around the single error of his life’ and repented which is also a virtuous thing to do. Proctor proves his individuality by refusing to succumb to the hysteria that many of the townspeople have been subjected to. When people begin to accuse one another Proctor asks “On what proof, what proof?’ (69) He also refuses to allow society to influence what he believes in and through this personal liberation, resulting in personal freedom, he realizes that ‘little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom’ (72). A fact in which no one else realizes due to the hysteria. Through out the play, John Proctor fights for what he believes in no matter the hardships he faces for doing so, showing his bravery Proctor also...
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