John Proctor Is a Flawed Man. How, in Spite of This, Does Arthur Miller Develop His Character so That We Admire Him More and More as the Play Progresses? Essay

Words: 1972
Pages: 8

John Proctor is a flawed man. How, in spite of this, does Arthur Miller develop his character so that we admire him more and more as the play progresses?

John Proctor, throughout the play, undergoes a personal dilemma. He earns our respect during the play by making some moral choices. Towards the end of the play he follows the courage of his convictions but ironically has to play the ultimate price.

Miller introduces a complex character. John Proctor, in the directors notes, comes across as a well respected person to the puritan community of Salem Massachusetts. Although would he be if they knew he was harbouring a secret? He is a guilt ridden character who has defied the laws of 17th century Salem.

Proctor goes against the norms
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This is a significant moment and shows the audience that Proctor is single minded and will stand up for what he believes in. Proctor is willing to go against the norms of his religion and the puritan beliefs to do this.

To pervert the court of justice Abigail take the limelight. In the court room she starts to feel icy and says she has seen Marys spirit. Abigail has power over those with authority and so can play with the court to command them to believe in what she does and says. Proctor now reveals the burden that’s resting upon his shoulder - the secret of him and Abigail. John proctor says “ I have Known her sir, I have known her.” Abigail is horrified by this and when questioned denies to answer. Proctor does this to try and bring Abigail down, to stop the court believing her convictions towards her friends. It’s heroic on Proctors part as he’s willing to damage his reputation to save all he loves and respects. The audiences respect Proctor a little more as he’s willing to convict himself to save his friends from conviction. There’s a contrast between the audience and court as the people in the court would be shocked by his revelation.

A Dilemma strikes Elizabeth when she’s called into the court to confirm this allegation of harlotry. She doesn’t know that her husband has confessed. The court turn