The Crucible, Arthur Miller Essay

1904 words - 8 pages

There are three main points about Proctor, which greatly contribute to his effectiveness throughout the play. Proctor is arguably the main character or at least a character with a very full role in the play. Taking advantage of this, Miller used Proctor in a largely rounded role to make the play a one of drama and suspense. He is most unlike the majority of the other flat characters so we can relate to him well as a member of the audience. Miller has brilliantly planned this character and has made him a character that we can relate to in the present day and in the time that the book was written.Proctor takes a giant role as a conflicting character. This creates a thrilling atmosphere around Proctor and curious suspense every time his name is mentioned in the play. This can be proved in many places throughout the book but I shall start with a largely effective and meaningful piece of evidence, "I shall fall like an ocean on that court."(p.64). John Proctor says this to extremely meaningful effect. He has used a powerful metaphor during a rage in which he is arguing with those in authority, who oppress him and his wife. This quotation shows the ability to which Proctor can show his strength to those in court. This leaves us constantly thinking of what will happen in court when he does fall on it like an ocean. He implies that he fall upon the court with the massive strength of an ocean. Although oceans now can be seen as relatively small to us because of our wide knowledge of the universe, an ocean to a farmer in the seventeenth century would seem almost infinite both in width and depth. This shows us that Proctor is very angry at the authority, which has in his eyes unjustly apprehended his wife. This again makes us look forward to the colossal showdown in the court.As we move into the court scene we see more of Proctor's public conflict. "There might also be a dragon wit five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it."(p.83). This strong piece of criticism contrasts to his earlier attempts to rationally explain to the court that he is furious with the court over their decision to put his wife on trail. Examples of this include, "I come not to hurt the court; I only -" (p.74) and, "She has a signed deposition, sir"(p.71). After these attempts to get the court's attention his anger finally overcomes him and he basically mocks the court, delighting the audience with humour, conflict and fulfilling a choric role. Near the end of this court scene Proctor eventually admits what has been troubling himself internally and at home with his wife. On page 88 where stage directions tell us that Proctor is trembling, with his life collapsing around him, you can see that damage the internal conflict has caused him. It is all let out in one momentous occasion that he is a lecher. This build up then huge explosion style outburst creates a pain in John Proctor that the audience also feels on a smaller scale. On that page Proctor shouts, "Whore! Whore!" As...

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