essay critical analysis

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What created his flaw was his affair with Abigail Williams, the main antagonist in the story.

The Crucible Essay | Essay

This affair eventually lead her to accuse his wife, Elizabeth, of witchcraft in order for her to gain the possession of Proctor. From there, many other accusations arise and the Salem witchcraft trial becomes a gruesome event. Proctor knows they are pretending, and says so, but Judge Danforth does not agree, and Abigail insists he is a liar. He then confesses about his affair with Abigail in order to prove that she is not an innocent being either.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Themes

I have paid much to learn it, sir. Yet, he did try to make some right come out of it, and that is a very heroic action performed.

John Proctor The Tragic Hero English Literature Essay

After all, he did ultimately fail to save anyone at the end, more over failing to save himself in general. He actually had more flaws than of heroic characteristics.

He has an aspect of excessive pride of himself and his commitment into keeping his reputation of goodness, yet fails on that, too, towards the end. John Proctor definitely applied to all the criteria pertaining to a tragic hero.

Crucible John Proctor Tragic Hero

Some may argue he is not considering his flaws. Such an admission would ruin his good name, and Proctor is, above all, a proud man who places great emphasis on his reputation.

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Only then does he realize that it is too late, that matters have gone too far, and that not even the truth can break the powerful frenzy that he has allowed Abigail to whip up. Proctor redeems himself and provides a final denunciation of the witch trials in his final act. Offered the opportunity to make a public confession of his guilt and live, he almost succumbs, even signing a written confession. His immense pride and fear of public opinion compelled him to withhold his adultery from the court, but by the end of the play he is more concerned with his personal integrity than his public reputation. He still wants to save his name, but for personal and religious, rather than public, reasons.

Such a confession would dishonor his fellow prisoners, who are brave enough to die as testimony to the truth. Perhaps more relevantly, a false admission would also dishonor him, staining not just his public reputation, but also his soul.