Christ in Salem
Human nature has often proven to be ignorant and exhibit prejudice to the individuals who provide nothing but benefit for society. John Proctor, a character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, can be classified as one of these people. As the proverbial Christ figure, Proctor embodies a being that exhibits a multitude of characteristics including the confrontation of the evil in society, temptation towards evil, and conjointly, often being persecuted and made to suffer by his community. John Proctor indubitably is a paragon of such a being as is illustrated in Miller’s play.
The confrontation of evil in society is a key characteristic of a Christ figure. Proctor ostends this attribute clearly as he tries to reverse the witch trials, while the rest of the townsfolk idly observe as chaos reigns in Salem. Proctor brought forth to the court saying that, “I believe she means to murder”(217), speaking of his adolescent mistress Abigail Williams, who is the girl responsible for the verdict of who is innocent and guilty of witchcraft. In an attempt to halt the trials John Proctor explains that Abigail is a murderer. John further exemplifies his capability to confront evil when he tries to stop the trials by inducing Mary Warren to confess that the girls are lying. Proctor states to Danforth that, “She only pretended to faint Your Excellency. They’re all marvelous pretenders”(218). He uses Mary’s confession as evidence in order to convince the court that the trials are fraudulent, though it is rejected, and his efforts wasted.
Facing temptation but resisting is a second indispensable aspect of a Christ figure. John Proctor unveils this characteristic when he considers signing a confession stating that he is guilty of witchcraft in order to save his life but seals his fate by choosing not to sign in order to keep his integrity and honesty. Proctor states in fury, “because I lie and sign myself to lies!”(240), and once the revelation that his...
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