John Proctor Tragic Hero

When people finish reading a book or watching a movie, they often want to carry that experience with them. They want something to remember and might even save the memory in order to reflect on it at some point in the future. When someone is the protagonist of a story, they become that person’s “hero,” standing for all the hopes and dreams of their peers, whether they are good or bad. This excerpt from Aristotle’s “Poetics” gives us an idea of why we would consider John Proctor a tragic hero–his emotions resonate with your own feelings about him as the protagonist.

John Proctor is infatuated with Abigail Williams, and that costs him his life. It was a crime to love in Puritan culture, and even though Abigail tried to convince him, he was sentenced to death. In the conversation with Abigail, he tells her “Abigail, you’ll put it out of your mind,” when she tries to convince him that his love for his wife is still there.

Abigail is intense and excels at getting what she wants. Proctor knows that if he lets this go on, his life and morals would be put at risk. There is a battle on the home front as well, with John’s wife firing Abigail shortly before their conversation with her.

John’s coming clean about having an affair with Elizabeth reveals the status of their relationship. John decides that he needs to let her go because she’s being a little needy. Proctor is giving him an opportunity to apologize in his own way. A series of unfortunate events led to the death of Proctor’s daughter. Now aware of the severity of his mistake that leads to her death, he doesn’t want to drag out the drama and tension between them for a long period of time like the past months.

John trusted Abigail, which eventually led to her convincing him to act as a “committed” hero and confess his affair. John also had to admit his lie in order to bring it all out into the open. After she told him about the affair, Mary warned John that he would ruin his life with it.

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Proctor’s willingness to admit guilt and take the consequences highlights his tragic hero characteristics. This is a crucial aspect of the tragic hero archetype. These values are at the core of his existence and play an important role in his development.

As a result of his choices, John comes across in the present company as if he is on the last day of judgment. Elizabeth first talks about how she thinks it’s from a change in behavior and demeanor, and how “when we were here before [John] waltzed through…” (1141) His condition has visibly deteriorated to the point where he can barely stand up, “he fainted.” When he coughs blood, then spits blood out internally, we learn that his condition has taken an even bigger turn for the worse.

John Miller proceeded to give up his life and reputation after confessing his sin to Judge Danforth. It wasn’t until later that he really understood what he had done with Elizabeth Proctor. After understanding, John felt as though it would be more suffering to live on by giving up his life. Ultimately, that was not John’s fault–he said so himself.

John Proctor is the main character in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and he makes mistakes early on that may have a significant negative impact on his life and career. We’ll look at how mistakes like this can affect an individual, ranging from the direct impact to spiritual consequences, or can cause further problems for them in the community later.

Sample Details

Topic

Hero, John Procter, The Crucible, Tragic Hero,

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate, Post Graduate

Page

2

Words

610
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Sample Details

Topic

Hero, John Procter, The Crucible, Tragic Hero,

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate, Post Graduate

Page

2

Words

610
Download PDF
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