The Crucible, is a play by Arthur Miller, and it tells a story about the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail Williams plays an enormous part in the Salem Witch Trails by her constant lying, turning the trails into a mass hysteria. She is known in the town of Salem for causing trouble and being released from the Proctor’s house. Elizabeth Proctor released Abigail from her house under the suspicion that Abigail and John were having an affair. Elizabeth is very pure and upright and that is one of the reasons that these characters are foils from each other.
In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller goes into detail about the historical event, the Salem witchcraft trials which took place in Massachusetts in 1692. The drama centers on John and Elizabeth Proctor and a young girl Abigail Williams, whom John Proctor has committed adultery with. In order to get rid of Elizabeth so that Abigail can have John to herself Abigail accuses John’s wife of witchcraft, a crime that was highly frowned upon. John proctor goes through a series of changes from being a horrible person who cheated on his wife to a tragic hero who will give up his life to say his wife. John proctor is viewed as many things in this play but at the end he come out an honest and noble man.
Pride is often viewed as a positive characteristic. However, in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller the protagonist’s, John Proctor, pride stands in his way making him a tragic hero.
Early in the play, Elizabeth discovered a secret affair between her husband, John Proctor, and their servant, Abby. This led Elizabeth to fire Abigail on the spot and continue with John. Elizabeth is done with Abby, claiming “I have forgot Abigail, and - And I”(Miller 54). Elizabeth wants to move on into the future, but Abigail is stuck in the past. This allows Elizabeth’s loyalty to her spouse to shine. The fact that Abigail, and even John Proctor have committed adultery, and Elizabeth kept John, shows how true Elizabeth is to her morals. In fact, it is the wrongdoings of Abigail that show through Elizabeth in a positive manner. This is the first case where we see a side of Elizabeth that is brought out through the actions of Abigail Williams. However, Elizabeth this may seem like the end of Abigail Williams, but it is far from the end. Abby feels she is the right woman for John Proctor, not Elizabeth. In an act of revenge, Abigail blames a needle found in her stomach on Elizabeth, claiming witchcraft, and having Elizabeth arrested. When Ezekiel Cheever bears an arrest warrant, Elizabeth is surprisingly calm, stating “John- I think I must go with them”(Miller 77).
In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, the madness of the Salem witch trials is explored in great detail. Arthur Miller was an American playwright, who was born in 1915. He grew up in a Jewish family in New York City. While attending the University of Michigan in the mid 1930’s, he began to characterize himself as a distinguished writer. His first plays were Honors at Dawn and No Villain. The Death of a Salesman, which he wrote in 1949, won him the Pulitzer Prize for literature.
Set in the 16th century based off the historical accounts of the Salem Witch Trials, The Crucible follows the village of Salem and the characters inhabiting the village, influenced by historical figures, as witch hysteria (started by young girls as a way to avoid getting in trouble) breaks out. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible revolves around the lies and deceitfulness the characters tell and exhibit with in an ironic twist that involves saving some, but also hurting
When we are first introduced to John Proctor, we learn of his affair with Abigail Williams, Abigail's involvement in the accusations of witchcraft, and of John's desire to do what is honorable. Because of John's desire to do what is honorable, he ends the affair with Abigail and begins to attempt to repair his broken marriage. Abigail's jealously of Elizabeth and desire to be John's wife leads to Elizabeth's name being mentioned in court. Abigail's mention of Elizabeth's name in court reveals her attempt to get rid of Elizabeth for she knows Elizabeth will claim innocence and be hung if she does. When word reaches the Proctors, about Abigail's mentioning of Elizabeth's name in court, John concludes that Abigail's motive is to kill Elizabeth. Knowing this information, John is faced with his first difficult decision, save his reputation, keep his affair a secret, and let the accusations continue, or ruin his reputation, tell of his affair, and end the girls' accusations. Not wanting to ruin his good name, John decides to hold his tongue and because of this the trials continue and more accusations are made, some of which lead to his wife's and his friends arrest for witchcraft and bewitchment.
John Proctor's Death as Foolish in The Crucible
In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, John Proctor, a proud and frustrated farmer of Salem, chooses to die rather than to give a false confession to witchcraft. Many might view this act as that of a selfless martyr; on the other hand, it can more readily be seen as the height of human stupidity in the face of vanity and pride.
John Proctor is, at first, willing to offer up a false confession that his life may be spared. Inevitably, John Proctor possesses that fateful attribute known to fall fatal to many human beings - pride. While he has, indeed, been ashamed of his many sins throughout his life, Proctor's soul still clings to his pride and his good name, however soiled it may have become.
Elizabeth: I think she sees another meaning in that blush (59).” Elizabeth knows that there may be something going on between Proctor and Abigail. But proctor feels like he has to keep honor to his household and so he keeps everything that he feels inside and tries to hide it from his wife. Proctor does redeem himself by the end of the book. Where he refuses to have his name be used as a flag to be displayed as a symbol of the trials. This is most prominent when he is telling the judge, “
John Proctor's decision to betray his wife causes internal struggles and ultimately leads to his catastrophe at the end of the drama. Hamartia is the primary error of the tragic hero which provokes part of his misfortune. Proctor's serious mistake of adultery delivers problems with Abigail Williams and indirectly causes his jailing. Abigail is a grown young woman, and yet she is an orphan who mistakes John Proctor?s sex for true love. When Proctor tells Abigail that the relationship can no longer continue, the girl becomes angry and sorrowful (1098). In order to prove Abigail?s sinfulness and to discredit her in front of the court, Proctor proclaims that he had an affair with this evil child. The outraged court officials summon Elizabeth Proctor to find the truth. When asked about her husband, Elizabeth?s soul is twisted, for reporting the truth could destroy her husband?s reputation, but lying means breaking her solemn oath to God. Because she is selfless, Elizabeth chooses to lie and save her husband, but perhaps condemn herself to hell for such a sin. This scene indicates dramatic irony, for Proctor knows that which Elizabeth is not ...