Analytical Essay for the Crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, Tragic hero, Poetics Pages: 4 (1510 words) Published: January 7, 2011
In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor is an Aristotelian character. He is a character with a tragic flaw and is also a tragic hero. A tragic hero has many distinctive characteristics such as nobility and hubris. A tragic hero also has a fatal flaw, experiences tragic things, falls and is destroyed, and at the end of a play there is catharsis. John Proctor had a mixture of good and bad characteristics. His bad characteristics included having an affair with a girl named Abigail who used to work for him. However, some yet argue if he was an Aristotelian character or not.

At the time of the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692, Proctor’s sins were serious. Proctor could be hanged if anybody found out that he had broken the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery”; “These people had no ritual for the washing away of sins.” Also many people do not believe in Christianity and choose not have their children baptized. Although Proctor has many bad characteristics, he also has good characteristics. Proctor truly regrets the affair and when Abigail approached him again he told her “I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again.” This statement was meant to convince Abigail that he did not want to be with her, but doing so he also admitted that he still had feelings for her, which gave Abigail hope that they could still together. There is evidence of this when she said “You loved me John Proctor, and whatever sin it is you love me yet!” Despite all this, he refused to let Abigail ruin his marriage to Elizabeth, although she no longer trusted him. Proctor was trying to prove his innocents and tells Elizabeth “like a Christian, I confessed.”

Proctor wished to please his wife and there is proof of this when Proctor asked, “I’ll buy George Jacob’s heifer. How would that please you”? Although proctor was not noble by birth, he certainly has noble characteristics, and he has well respected by many of the...
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