An Analysis Of The Tragic Hero In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Psychotherapist and essayist Adam Phillips once said, “Tragic heroes are failed protagonists. Their ends are unrealistic and their means are impractical.” Even though Phillips was only an infant during the “Red Scare,” when anyone could have been targeted and categorized as a communist, he grew up to define the term tragic hero which was used in Arthur Miller’s allegory to the “Red Scare.” Arthur Miller’s The Crucible takes place during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, when hysteria spreads among the townspeople and mass, unjust murder occurs. John Proctor, the main protagonist and tragic hero, has “unrealistic” ends and “impractical” means. John realizes his hamartia in desiring to keep his good reputation too late and suffers a catastrophe resulting in death; his respectable actions that justify the title of “tragic hero” prove that humans are not always motivated by self-interest but instead by love and belonging. As a man unwilling to destroy his good name in the beginning, John ends up experiencing his catharsis too late, a characteristic of a tragic hero. After Abigail Williams, John’s ex-lover, blames Mary Warren, one of Abigail’s close friends, for being involved with the Devil and Judge Danforth …show more content…
Miller molds John’s character to represent that of his best friend, Elia Kazan, who snitched on actors to the House of Un-American Activities Committee during the “Red Scare.” Because of his false accusations, Kazan was able to escape the wrath from the common people, who would ruin lives of the accused communists. From Miller, we can learn that humans tend to blame others when they are afraid, but not losing our course of having good motivations will reap great benefits like peace and

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