John Proctor is a young farmer who is a steady non biased character that has committed adultery with the 17 year old Abigail Williams, and is married to Elizabeth Procter. John is accused of witchcraft mostly due to the fact that the corrupted church feels that he is against the witch trails and he is not a constant at the church due to the fact that he doesn’t agree with the constant preaching of eternal damnation done by Reverend Parris. Procter is viewed as a bad Christian in his own eyes and he feels that he has betrayed his wife. Miller uses irony to show that not all people that are perceived as good Christians when John Procter states to the court, “I see some shred of goodness in John Procter for once.” (Miller 133) The irony in this statement is the fact that John Procter is one of the few true Christians who admits to his wrong doing. He is not trying to deceive his peers and pretends he has committed no wrong doing. Also Miller helps prove that what you see is not always the truth when Proctor states to a large crowd in the court “I see the face of Lucifer it is my face, and yours Danforth.” (Miller 111) this quote is a representation to the theme of this play, and the message it is trying to get across. What Procter is trying to say here is that the powerful people of Salem are the ones who are committing wrong doing, not those who are being hanged. The devil is not working in Salem, the people who are prosecuting innocent citizens are doing work that is against what is right. The Last quote that has significance comes when Procter states, “Can you speak one minute without we land in hell again? I am sick of hell!” (Miller 72) when referring to Reverend Parris. The irony in this statement comes in the fact that Parris should be preaching about how to stay pure, and all the good that can come from religion. However Parris preaches that hell is where sinners will go, and many in the village are bound for eternal damnationm, rather than the good that can come from staying pure, and achieving not only the title of a true Christian but knowing in your mind that you are not deceitful.
Reverend Parris is praised in the town for his attempt to drive the village away from the “people who work for the devil” from the village, needless to say he is against John Procter and his ideals. In the play Parris has a daughter, Betty, and a niece Abigail Williams. Parris is characterized in the play as a secretly deceitful priest and one who places a very high view on his reputation. For example he states to Danforth, “I never saw the girls dancing naked in the woods” (Miller 97). However this is a lie to cover up his reputation as a good and holy man that has a good family that is free of sin, and witchcraft. In fact his own daughter was one of the girls who were dancing in the woods naked, which was a terrible sin at the time and could have resulted in the removal of Parris as a priest in the town. Miller uses theme to show how Parris cares more about his status as the minister of the town rather than the work of god being done when Parris states this in regards to Procter signing his name and admitting to doing the devil’s work. “It is a weighty name; it will strike that Proctor confess. I beg you let him sign, the sun is up Excellency.” (Miller131).