A Real Tragic Hero: John Proctor In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor fits the definition of a tragic hero. Although he has a human weakness, Proctor’s strong conviction, quest for truth, and insightfulness make him a tragic hero. Courage is not the absence of fear, rather it is the judgement that something else is more important than fear. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, many characters have decided whether they should confess to dealing with the devil and lose their “good name” or be hanged for something they did not do. A tragic hero is someone of noble birth with heroic qualities, but the hero struggles mightly against this fate and this cosmic conflict wins our admiration.
The Tower of Babel: A Symbol of Hubris I. Introduction What hubris to defy the omnipotent authority of God – the Creator of all things from time immemorial. Humanity’s existence has long been mindful of the strengths and weaknesses of its pride. However, this did not come to past until God punished man for their excessive arrogance and pride. Mankind became fearful of God and challenged His almighty authority by creating a tower believed by many to reach Heaven.
Likewise, Satan does not seem scared of the power of God, nor does he seem phased at the consequences of death, or eternal damnation which makes him seem courageous and bold; two crucially important characteristics of a hero. Satan is not afraid of the horrors of hell, rather embracing them and discrediting heaven and God. His courage, boldness, and devotion to his causes, whether they be evil or not, allow Satan to be considered a Hero in this epic poem. Satan is also depicted as a hero briefly due to the effect of his “evil” actions. Milton writes that “How all his [ Satan’s] malice serve it to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shown on man by him seduced…”.
After all, Satan stands for all that corrupts the human world, he is humanity’s adversary, the manifestation of evil. However, the portrayal of Satan’s actions and demeanour in the text makes comparison with the traditional epic heroes viable, at least from a technical perspective. What defines an epic hero? An epic hero could be a distinguished warrior or a leader but more importantly an eloquent speaker who can influence greatly by the means of his address. He undertakes a quest, embarks on a perilous journey which tests his endurance, courage and cunning.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero must be a character of noble stature and greatness while embodying nobility as an inner virtue. Next, while tragic heroes are great, they are never perfect and always posses character flaws to make them more relatable to the masses. Continuing, a tragic hero’s fall from power is the fault of the hero; the result of free choice usually attributed to the heroes imperfection. Next, A hero’s actions result in an increase of self- awareness and self-knowledge. Finally, the fate of a tragic hero does not leave the audience in a state of depression, but draws solemn emotions of pity and sympathy.
Epic heroes are different than your standard everyday hero. Scholars have defined and epic hero as a god-like human being. An epic hero, defined by, Dictionary. Com, “a brave noble character in an epic poem admired for great achievement or affected by grand events.” (www.Dictionary .com) These heroes have been created through poems and stories, in order for man to understand the separation between himself and the spiritual presence in his life. Every society/culture since the creation of man has created this type of hero to embody the values and mores of that time period.
This being would be omnipotent or all-powerful, he would be omniscient or all knowing, he would be omnibenevolent or all good, and finally he would be omnipresent or everywhere you could imagine. By definition then if all of these factors make up God then evil will not and cannot exist. Alas there is evil in this world we live in from minor evils like cheating on a test to major evils such as murder and terrorism. A God who is omnipotent has the power to stop all evil from even being conceived. A God who is omniscient would know everyway evil could come into existence and would know how to stop every form of these evils.
The fundamental desire for reputation and social validation of the heroes of the Illiad suggests a great significance placed on cult worship and everlasting fame. Poets help recreate these stories into legends in celebration of the heroes and their nobility in dying without fear. The Illiad’s recognition of the inevitability of death and its omnipresence in everything the heroes attempt to achieve is the core motivation for each of the heroic figures. Ultimately, the klea andrôn, or ‘the glories of these men’ live on through Homer’s epic tale, epitomising the rise and fall of the great heroes of Troy. Homer’s exploration of Achilles’ struggle for eternal glory establishes the main element of the Hero in ancient Greek culture as the immortalisation of his life in song or epic poetry.
He took some risks in the way he configured the holy tale, in that he presented it as epic poem, with Satan taking on the role of a quasi-tragic hero. This, although a somewhat controversial move, is one of the factors in the longevity and long-standing relevance of "Paradise Lost." Walter Raleigh famously reported Milton's work as "a monument to dead ideas." Raleigh could have meant that faith in god has dissipated in the wake of technological advances, or he could have meant that man's "inevitable fall" is no longer a threat. Although Milton's story was essentially a stylized re-telling of the creation and demise of man, the ideas proposed in "Paradise Lost" live on through history, the reality of modern religion, and the modern cultural and physical environment.