The Crucible As A Tragedy

Submitted By sukhiikaaur
Words: 813
Pages: 4

The Crucible as a tragedy

| |The Crucible can be seen to be a tragedy in a number of ways, mainly because the main character is faced with, in the words of the author, Arthur |
| |Miller himself, a tragic dilemma. |
| |John Proctor is the main character in the play of The Crucible. At the outset of the play, he does not appear to be a central character, but as |
| |the story develops, one can see that the importance of his existence and the reason behind his presence are soon made known. |
|5 |John Proctor is a man with a divided nature and this is reflected in the way he conducts the relationships between his neighbours and himself. The|
| |relationship which reveals the most about the man is the one between him and Abigail. Miller tells us that Proctor feels he has compromised his |
| |idea of decency and proper conduct, but the farmer does not seem to assume any such emotion. As a matter of fact, he is unashamed or embarrassed |
| |at the presence of Abigail, his illegal liaison, and even smiles somewhat knowingly at her when he points his finger at her and accuses her of |
| |being 'wicked'. He claims that their relationship is over and even goes so far as to say that they 'never touched'. This seems to contradict the |
|10 |fact that Proctor is a man of strong convictions, but Proctor's obvious opposition to Parris, his brow-beating of Mary Warren, his threatening |
| |violence against the court clerk and his tearing up of the Governer's warrant all indicate the strength of his character as well as the strong |
| |convictions which possess this man. |
| |Later on, John Proctor is faced with a tragic dilemma which tests this conviction. He is accused of witchcraft himself and he is forced to make a |
| |choice between confessing to the deeds which he has not done and live, or to hang a convicted practitioner of witchcraft who did not confess his |
|15 |sins. At first, Proctor, after a long period of confinement in prison, agrees to sign the confession. However, as he thinks things through, he |
| |finally takes the right path and tears the confession up after signing it. This clearly demonstrates the strong convictions which bind his |
| |thoughts and this situation thus becomes a tragic dilemma. It is also something of a tragic dilemma for Hale, who is a secondary character but |
| |also plays an important role. At the end of the play, Hale decides to attempt to convince those wrongly charged of witchcraft to confess to |
| |witchcraft to avoid the noose, even though this goes against what he has always been thought and believed. There is thus a contrast between the |
|20 |two men. One takes right path in an effort to preserve his integrity and righteousness, while the other chooses the path of darkness in order to |
| |preserve those whom he does not wish to see perish simply because of an inept system of justice. |
| |Proctor, being the central character to the play, influences much of the reader's opinion of the play as well as the content of the play. Having |
| |vicariously experienced a tragic dilemma which Proctor is subject to, the reader is bound to think of the play as a tragedy and this is certainly |
| |true. What could be more tragic than the ruthless killing of innocent men, women and children simply because there exist factions and hate within |
|25 |a small town? What more could be more tragic than having to choose between selling your soul for mortal life and preserving your soul for eternal |
| |life, then choosing mortal death over