The Crucible Tragic Hero Essay

In ‘The Crucible’, John Proctor exhibits the qualities defined as those of a tragic hero; he struggles against society by remaining independent; he gives up his name and freedom for the greater good of Salem through his confession of adultery; and redeems himself through his discovery of his goodness, and his self- sacrifice. Miller defines a tragic hero in his essay, ‘Tragedy and the Common Man’, juxtaposing Aristotle’s views that only characters of nobility are appropriate; Miller describes a tragic hero to be a character who, no matter their birth, strives to protect their personal dignity, struggling to gain their rightful position in society. Additionally, Miller writes that all tragic heroes act against the established order in their societies, whilst making the audience question their own accepted …show more content…
Subsequently, Miller uses Proctor as a tragic hero within ‘The Crucible’, to show the themes of guilt and desperation to the audience, to express the injustice and mass hysteria of the Red Scare.

Firstly, Miller shows the character of John Proctor to be a tragic hero through his struggling against the Salem society, for example, ‘I mean it solemnly, Rebecca, I like not the smell of this ‘authority’,’ The use of the word ‘smell’ suggests that Proctor believes Parris’ authority and running of the church is rotten, and that Parris is a disgusting man, showing the character of Proctor’s view of the society and hierarchal structure. In addition, a rotten fruit has a sweet smell, highlighting that the character of Proctor thinks that the authorities are sweet on the outside, yet putrid on the inside. The quotation marks around ‘authority’, show that Miller is making evident that John Proctor doesn’t think highly of Parris or any of the characters who are in charge, which suggests that Proctor won’t listen to their opinions. The word ‘solemnly’ conveys Proctor’s serious tone, and the sincerity of what he is saying, indicating that Miller is portraying to the

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