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The Tragic Hero In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

954 words - 4 pages

The Crucibles Tragic Hero

A tragic event should bring fear and pity to the reader and the hero should be courageous and noble, hence when combined a tragic hero is presented. The protagonist, John Proctor, portrays a tragic hero in The Crucible. His hamartia of treachery caused great internal struggles, he displays hubris by challenging authority, and encountered catastrophe as the play went on.

John Proctor’s decision to betray his wife caused internal turmoil and ultimately lead to his ruin at the end of the play. Proctor’s tragic flaw was that in which he committed treachery, which provoked part of his misfortune. Proctor’s serious mistake of adultery delivered problems with Abigail and caused an accusation of his wife practicing witchcraft. Abigail was a grown young woman, and yet she was an orphan who mistook John Proctor’s sexual urge for true love. When Proctor told Abigail that the relationship could no longer continue, the girl became angry and did not accept this.

In order to prove Abigail’s sinfulness and to discredit her in front of the court, Proctor proclaimed that he had an affair with this evil whore. This outraged the court officials and they summoned Elizabeth Proctor to find the truth. When asked about her husband, Elizabeth’s soul was twisted, for revealing the truth could destroy her husband’s reputation, but lying meant breaking her solemn oath to God. Because she was noble to her husband, Elizabeth chose to lie and save her husband, but perhaps condemn herself to hell for such a sin. This scene indicates dramatic irony, for Proctor knew he had already confessed, and Elizabeth was unaware of the confession.

The court jailed Proctor; Elizabeth Proctor’s selfless act backfired. Proctor committing adultery with Abigail directly caused his jailing and indirectly caused his wife’s allegation as a witch; for Proctor starting the spark to Abigail’s intense lascivious emotions toward him resulted in his death. The court viewed his real truth as a lie and believed he defied authority. Although, John Proctor did not truly defy authority in that scene of the play, for he told the truth and his wife lied, he challenged control in many other aspects.

John Proctor exposed pride through his hate of Reverend Parris. John Proctor proclaimed that he did not go to Church, an act the court and townspeople viewed as a revolt on the supremacy of God, because the Reverend Parris was corrupt. Parris was materialistic and cared more about the sake of his reputation than the health of his own daughter. Proctor resented the Church because Parris ran it. In the eyes of officials, this casual negligence of God turned Proctor into an unchristian, sinful rebel....

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