John Proctor: The Archetypal Tragic Hero In The Crucible

1300 Words 5 Pages
“This is a sharp time, now, a precise time-we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God 's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it” as quoted by Danforth in Act III explaining how the “devil” is living among and throughout the town. In The Crucible, there have been many cases where John Proctor, the main character has the characteristics of an “archetypal” tragic hero. Proctor did commit adultery in the play with Abigail Williams while he was married to his wife, Elizabeth Bassett-Proctor. He struggles with the weight of the sin of committing his adultery. During this time period, the Salem Witch Trials had just commenced and numerous …show more content…
In Act III, John Proctor is so sick and tired of the case he releases his inner anger. On page 876 he states, “God is dead! A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them, that quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud-God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!” Proctor states this after Danforth asks him if he is combined with anti-Christ and if he befouled with Hell. John Proctor was then thrown into jail after this and the proceedings were denounced. Later in Act IV on page 884, Proctor wants to keep his life and confesses to being with the devil, and he will be able to on one condition- the confession must be written. Throughout the town of Salem, John Proctor wanted to keep his name and he knows that signing the confession will ruin not only his name, but his family 's name in future generations. John refuses and then is sentenced to immediate hanging by Danforth. This proves that the courts during this time did not need evidence and it was hard to obtain since you couldn’t actually prove yourself a witch since no one was flying on a broomstick and making potions, but acting and being with the devil was what they feared in the town, so they took it by word. If you confessed to being with the devil, you would be set …show more content…
On page 886, Proctor makes a final statement right before he is put into the wagon to carry him to the gallows stating, “I can (hang). And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now, I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now show a stony heart and sink them with it!” This quote was stated in front of the town and influenced most of the town realizing that they may want to reconsider what was going on in their town. Proctor is saying that the town has had such mass hysteria that he is happy to hang and be done with his life. The town is so deranged by what has been going on with the witchcraft, they don’t know what to believe anymore. Most will start to consider however why they thought everyone was a witch. Some will be happy that the devil is out of Salem. Proctor’s tragic hero characteristic shows how he died to prove a point that their theories of witchcraft were

Related Documents