The Crucible Character Analysis: John Proctor

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In Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, some characters go through dramatic changes, but the most appealing change to me was John Proctor’s shift in character. In this play John Proctor is faced with the consequences that come along with having an intimate affair with Reverend Parris’ niece, Abigail Williams. John Proctor states his defense by explaining to Abigail that he doesn’t want anything to do with her. In Act I, John tells Abigail, “I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again” (pg.1045). Basically, Proctor is making it clear to Abigail that what’s past is past and that he wants her out of his life. Although John Proctor does not want to continue his affair with Abigail, he is still somewhat doubted by his wife Elizabeth. In Elizabeth’s view, “She wants me dead… She thinks to take my place, John” (1066-1067). Elizabeth’s point is that she is convinced that Abigail is trying to get rid of her so she can have John Proctor all to herself. According to Proctor, he is trying to help his wife, who has been accused of witchcraft, by confessing to his crime of lechery. At this point in the play both John and Elizabeth Proctor pretty much despise Abigail Williams. In John Proctor’s view, “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave… But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands” (1098). Although Goody Proctor tries to save him by lying to the court saying that John is a goodly man. In Act III, John explains to the court, “She only thought to save my name” (1099). In making this comment, Proctor is trying to reassure the court that his wife is not a liar. Arthur Miller complicates matters further when he writes that John is imprisoned, and to get out he has to not only lie, but sign his confession and have it hung up on the church so the village can see. In Act IV, John tells Danforth, “Because I lie and
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