Why Is John Proctor A Tragic Hero

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Former UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden once said “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, John Proctor is a quiet character at first. As the plot unfolds, Proctor becomes a tragic hero in the eyes of the reader and struggles internally as well as externally with his character and notoriety. On the surface, he is a respected man in Salem, Massachusetts who is honest and speaks his mind. At that time he had everything a Puritan man could have ever wanted: a wife who treated him well, three sons, a farm to work and profit from, and most importantly, a desirable reputation. …show more content…
Hale also questioned the Proctor’s about their attendance at church. Proctor was quick to assert that it was because Goody Proctor had been sick. After more provoking, he also confesses he was not a fan of Reverend Parris or his candlesticks. An honorable man, especially a Puritan, would not have let such minute details get in the way of his church life or faith. If he was a true and honest Puritan man, the minister or candlesticks would not have prevented him from carrying out his duties as a Puritan. Although not a character flaw, Proctor’s sheepishness of church because of minute matters is egotistical. Selfishness is not a quality of a Puritan or a good …show more content…
He was ultimately hung because of his refusal to commit to practicing sorcery. Ironically, he found it completely okay at one point to cheat on his wife and miss church, yet abominated the idea of telling a lie to keep his life. If he would have opted to keep his life instead of dying in the midst of such corrupt circumstances, he would have had time to turn his life around and begin living like a true Puritan man should. He could have shown his sons, as well as the rest of the town, that he was a genuinely good and respectable man. Most importantly, he could have begun to back up his pride with his actions. In the end, John Proctor cared more about his reputation than he did about his character. This is an evil trait because God is indifferent about one’s reputation; he instead examines the character of a man. Proctor’s fatal flaws carried him down a scornful path of

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