John Proctor: Tragic Hero
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is structured much like a classical tragedy. John Proctor, the protagonist of the play, qualifies as a tragic hero because he has a tragic flaw. Proctor fits Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero which states that one of the most important aspects of a tragedy is the tragic hero. He defines a tragic hero as a noble person that goes from a state of fortune and happiness to a state of utter misery caused by the protagonist’s tragic flaw. In this play Proctor is shown as an average man who is concerned for his reputation and is seeking to keep his good name from being tarnished but as the play proceeds he must let go of his pride to save Salem, Massachusetts from despicable lies. Although Aristotle's tragic hero would be a character in a high social or political standing, Arthur Miller portrays John Proctor as a common farmer that is honest and living a respectable life in a Puritan town with a wife and three children. However, as the play opens, the audience discovers that Proctor has a significant secret, which is his affair with a young girl named Abigail Williams. Abigail doesn't want to believe that it is over between her and John and tries to kill Elizabeth Proctor by engaging in witchcraft with a few other girls in the town. As the town uncovers the antics of the girls and are outraged, the girls start to cry out names of others they have supposedly seen with the Devil in order to save themselves. Therefore, the audience perceives that the affair between John and Abigail is the instigator of all the hysteria surrounding the witch trials, signifying the consequences of a small human error. On the other hand, John's sin of adultery isn't the greatest flaw that he possesses. His pride, honor, and good name is what kept John from confessing to adultery. Elizabeth even asked him to go into the court and tell them that Abigail is fraud. However he responded stating, "I know I cannot keep it. I say I...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document