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The Crucible: Arthur Miller Essay Sample

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The Crucible: Arthur Miller Essay Sample

John Proctor, a very complex character, a defeated individual, and arguably the protagonist in the play in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. A farmer in his mid-forties whose only priority at the beginning of the play was to maintain happiness. He’s a very confused and insecure man especially due to the affair that he had with Abigail even though he was married to Elizabeth ideally committing adultery. He’s mindset and role changes dramatically throughout the play as he is forced into making tough decisions and keeping his status as a devout Puritan. He transforms from a reckless adulterer to a righteous man who seeks forgiveness.

The major twisting point of this character was when his wife was accused of performing witchcraft as he drifts from an ordinary citizen to a sinner and then a dreadful hero. Proctor’s change of mind to remain a faithful Puritan instead of falsifying to avoid being hanged, shows how much he signifies being a pure and just Puritan. In the first act the readers get the impression that Proctor is a weak man who lacks the power to criticize others because he looks down on himself as a sinner and his rare church attendance makes him look extremely unreligious.

He didn’t have the power to correct or advise other individuals because of his low value in the community. He is also viewed as an arrogant man who refuses to attend church because he dislikes Parris stating on {P. 65} ”I surely did come when I could, and when I could not I prayed in my house” trying to find excuses for his rarity at church but Hale brings it to his attention that his house isn’t a church, Proctor then goes directly to his point {P.

65}“ A minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar” and contributing to his failure to recite the 10 commandments when questioned by Hale worsens his overall situation. At this stage of the play he’s viewed as an unloyal and an unholy man who only follows his own principles. Proctor suddenly undergoes major change when Cheever arrives at his house to bring a warrant for Elizabeth but he stays brave and refuses for her to be taken away as he believes that his wife is being unjustly accused. Now, the readers begin to have a different view towards Proctor.

During the court in Salem, after Elizabeth was already jailed, Proctor gets frustrated with Abigail’s attitude, yelling (P. 110)“It is a whore! I have known her, sir. I have known her. ” There’s silence throughout the room after this poisonous claim, shortly after that, he states that Elizabeth was aware of this and if she was then Abigail would have found herself in serious trouble. As Elizabeth is walked into the court, Proctor and Abigail are commanded to have their backs towards Elizabeth to avoid any influences with her response.

Elizabeth then denies that Proctor committed lechery hoping to save him, unaware that he has confessed, which leads to the clearance of Abigail’s name in the court. Proctor astonishingly confesses to witchcraft to save his life and avoid being hanged but suddenly takes his decision back when informed that he has to sign the paper of his claim which would then be posted outside the church. He feels like he’s betrayed his friends and wouldn’t let his pride get into the way resulting into him taking back his confession. The outcome of this was him him being indefinitely hanged but he saw himself as a good man who died a good death.

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