John Proctor's Tragic Hero In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

534 Words 3 Pages
In Act IV of The Crucible, John Proctor is faced with a fatal dilemma, to sign away his honesty and pride and in exchange keep his life or to die with a shred of goodness to his name.
Proctor makes the decision to hang rather than falsely confess to witchcraft; this decision was one of honor rather than pride. A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. Proctors’ hamartia would have been his affair with Abigail, a young and unstable girl who ended up manipulating the entire society to get revenge for the events of eight months prior. This misstep lead to Proctor’s name being tainted-- a guilt that hangs with him throughout the entire play. It was even a major factor in his decision for whether to confess or not, at one point he was even willing
…show more content…
His identity was the most important among those, as he neither wanted to be exploited and used as an example to the town, nor seen as a hypocrite to his children. He knew his claims were lies, that they were only being said so that he may walk out a free man. But there comes a point when John realizes that to continue with these lies would make him less worthy than “the dust on the feet of them that hang” (p 143). This final realization is the one that results in him choosing to be honorable and truthful rather than condemn himself to a free but guilt-ridden life.
Excessive pride is akin to thinking of oneself as royalty, to believe one is above the issue at hand and thus deny it, and this is something that Proctor clearly did not do. His reasons for refuting the confession were those of respecting others decisions and desperately attempting to maintain any control he could have left in his life. None of his actions were taken out of a bloated self-image, and that is painfully apparent through all of act

Related Documents