The True Tragic Hero: The Crucible’s John Proctor

analytical Essay
1040 words
1040 words

The true tragic hero: The Crucible’s John Proctor

A tragic hero is a noble man who commits a fatal flaw. The hero’s downfall is a result of their choices which leads to a punishment that exceeds the crime. “The difference between Proctor and Willy Loman is enormous; the former is the rather typical tragic hero who is defiant to the end, the latter is trapped in submission and is living a lie” (McGill 4). John Proctor is one of the main characters in The Crucible. he is married to Elizabeth Proctor and they live in Salem. In Arthur Miller’s famous play, The Crucible, John Proctor represents a classic tragic hero because he is a well respected man of noble stature, he is conflicted because of his fatal flaw, and his downfall is a result of his own choices.

First, in The Crucible, John Proctor is very well known in the town of Salem. “John Proctor was not simply a farmer but a man of significant wealth derived from diverse sources: inheritance, farming, rents, tavern keeping, and commercial ventures” (McGill 5). The Proctors get their wealth from many sources which has caused them to be very high in the social class. “Miller does refer to Proctor as a farmer, notes that he has followed the family tradition of tinkering with inventions, and consistently implies that he and his friends represent a social element inferior to the Putnams” (McGill 5). During The Crucible John Proctor is constantly faced with the problem of preserving his good name. “Previously preferred over truth, his good name is now preferred to life itself” (Popkin 7). John Proctor’s reputation is very important to him and he consistently tries to maintain his status in Salem. When it comes to his trial he chooses to give up his own life rather than tarnish his ...

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...ctor represents all the elements, therefore he is a true tragic hero.

Works Cited

Bergeron, David M. "Arthur Miller's" The Crucible" and Nathaniel Hawthorne: Some Parallels."

English Journal (1969): 47-55. Google Scholar. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Print.

Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. Print.

McCollom, William G. "The Downfall of the Tragic Hero." College English 19.2 (1957): 51-56.

JSTOR. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Mcgill, Jr. William J. "The Crucible of History: Arthur Miller's John Proctor." The New England

Quarterly 54.2 (1981): 258-64. JSTOR. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Popkin, Henry. "Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"" College English 26.2 (1964): 139-46. JSTOR.

Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Siebold, Thomas. Readings on Arthur Miller. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 1997. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the character of john proctor to willy loman in arthur miller's the crucible. he is a well-respected man of noble stature, conflicted because of his fatal flaw, and his downfall is due to his own choices.
  • Analyzes how john proctor is a well-known farmer in salem and his reputation is important to him in the crucible.
  • Analyzes how john proctor commits a fatal flaw in the crucible. he is unfaithful to his wife, abigail, and is guilty of witchcraft.
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