10 September 2014
John Proctor as a Tragic Hero The Crucible by Arthur Miller is set in Salem in a Puritan community. John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Hale, Reverend Paris, and Abigail are the main characters. The book is about witchcraft or what the town thinks is witchcraft. John Proctor is the tragic hero because he is loving, loyal, authoritative, but his tragic flaw is his temper. John is a loving husband. He proves that by telling Elizabeth, “It is well seasoned” (Miller 48) in reference to the rabbit she cooked, in which he had to add salt to. He likes to make her happy, which shows he loves her, and so he asks, “Would that please you?” (Miller 48) He is asking in reference to buying a heifer for her if the crops are good. He assures her he will “fall like an ocean on that court” by which he shows his love in caring for her freedom (Miller 73). To the court he admits he has “known her” he is talking about Abigail and their affair (Miller 102). He is showing his love towards his wife by throwing away his freedom, life, honor, dignity, and pride to prove Elizabeth’s innocence and have her freedom. He tells Elizabeth to “show honor now” as he is to be hanged in the gallows (Miller 133). He is showing his love for her by letting her know he cares about her enough to want her to be strong even though he is to die.
John Proctor is a loyal man. He proves he is loyal by telling Abigail, “I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again.” (p.22) He has the chance to be unfaithful, but instead proves his loyalty. He is loyal when he tells Abigail; “You’ll speak nothing of Elizabeth!” after Abigail had insulted her by calling her sickly (22). John, while talking with Danforth, proves his loyalty to Elizabeth by speaking up for her as he is trying to get her and his friends wives out of jail. He tells Danforth “that woman will never lie” which proves his loyalty to his wife (85). He proves his loyalty to his friends when Danforth has told him Elizabeth is pregnant and will stay alive for one year by telling the judge that his friends’ wives’ “are also accused-” and standing up for them instead of just taking a year with Elizabeth (86). John shows his loyalty when he is trying to prove Elizabeth’s innocence to witchcraft. By telling the judge, “my wife is innocent!” (p.103)
John has an authoritative personality. John proves this authoritative personality when he goes to Reverend Paris’s house, to find out why there is talk of witchcraft in the town, and finds his servant, Mary Warren, who is not supposed to be there and she shays “Oh! I’m just going home,” knowing she isn’t supposed to be there (20). His first words to her indicate his authority, “Now get home” because she does not question him and simply does what he says she proves he has authority (20). He shows his authoritative personality when talking alone with Abigail. He tells her, “That’s done with” trying to end the conversation after