John Proctor a Tragic Hero? Essay

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The Crucible

A tragic hero often pertains to a character that has a tragic flaw which usually leads to their tragic death. They cause the audience to mourn for them and the character usually has excessive pride. In “The Crucible” John Proctor’s character fits perfectly into the characteristics of a tragic hero. He was a well-known, respected and even feared man in the town he lived in. However he had a tragic flaw but him confessing leads up to his tragic death that causes the audience to feel sympathy.

            John Proctor’s downfall is initiated by a human flaw which was his inability to control and resist his desire.   When his wife Elizabeth got sick began to catch feelings for Abigail. When John Proctor stated “but I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach out for you” (page 15, act one) he shows how at one point he was having an affair behind his wife back and this lead up to all the madness in the town of Salem. When Abigail was talking to Proctor she says “She is telling lies to about me! She is a cold sniveling woman, and you bend to her!”(Page 15, act one) she is basically showing her jealousy towards his wife.   This stirred up the witch trials because Abigail wanted to be with Proctor and she would do just about anything.

            The fact that John proctor realizes all of his flaws and confesses to all of his sins is another reason why he can be considered a tragic hero. When Proctor had to go to the court to get his wife out of being accused of upholding witchcraft he eventually confess to his sins he committed.   Talking to Danforth, Proctors says “I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweet. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands” (page 49 act three) confessing to the crime he did. He realizes what he did was wrong which was why he tried to hide it for so long. But the only way for Proctor to try to get his wife out of trouble and had to let the truth out even if it ruined his...

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