Discuss the dramatic effectiveness of John Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
Conflict is at the heart of all drama. In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, John Proctor is at the heart of the conflict. He is a strong willed character, who seems, throughout the play, to be in some kind of strong dispute with someone at every point. Usually for what we, the audience, agree with or believe is right.
Proctor is sometimes foolhardy and impulsive, often with figures of authority and power. Reverend Parris is a character who has immense power in Salem at the time of the play, as he is the main representative of god, in a devoutly religious community, and is also someone whom Proctor has despised from before the play began, `I come to see what mischief your uncle's brewin' now.' (P17). This short and snappy comment illustrates a mistrust between Parris and Proctor, something that is very unexpected, however shows exactly how Proctor behaves. When seen at the start of the play, it seems like this `mischief brewing' is something that happens often. This is very uncharacteristic for a priest, as is Parris's avarice, `The salary is sixty-six pound, Mr Proctor! I am not some preaching farmer with a book under my arm;' (P24), Parris's greed is something that really angers Proctor, as Proctor believes that Parris is not a Christian man. Parris also seems to look down upon people that are not as well educated as him, he thinks he is better that a `preaching farmer', which isn't a very godly thing to do. `I see no light of god in that man, I'll not conceal it.' (P54). Proctor's impetuous remark seems silly, however since the start of the play we have agreed with this view. Parris had always been very bothered about himself and his future, and Proctor has noticed this, however to voice this opinion, especially infront of Hale, another important figure, is risky. In this quote Proctor is saying that he does not want Parris to lay a hand on his child, not even to get his baby baptized, this shows a ridiculously strong hatred that is carried on throughout the play between Proctor and Parris. Baptizing was an absolutely compulsory thing to do in the seventeenth century, refusing to do this because of a dislike of the priest illustrates just how intense his despise is.'Why, then I must find it and join it'(P25), says John when Parris is again selfish and paranoid claiming that there is a `faction' `against him and all authority.'(P25). Proctor is being very confrontational with Parris at this point, and is again showing an example of his sheer hatred for him, in a very argumentative way, summing up all of his feelings of wrongdoing of Parris.
Deputy Governor Danforth is the character in the play that acts as the judge for the witchcraft trials. He plays a key part in eventually prosecuting Proctor and Elizabeth and all the other people who were accused of...