The Crucible: Is John Proctor A Tragic Hero?

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Is John Proctor a tragic hero and is this play an example of a tragedy? John Proctor portrays the tragic hero in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Proctor, the protagonist of the piece, is revealed to the audience in his time of anguish and struggle, making his untimely death all the more unfortunate. In this tragedy, Proctor fights to save the town from insanity and chooses his death, rather than shame, in his struggle. The elements of a tragic hero are applied to Proctor in order for the audience to a feel sympathetic connection to a character who committed an unholy sin of adultery. John Proctor though not of high noble stature is, nonetheless, a good man and is highly regarded in Salem. He was described as “powerful of body, even-tempered, and not…show more content…
From the moment “he [became] a sinner,” his life went into calamity with the need to keep his sin hidden from Salem. It is at this point that Abigail began to formulate her plot to gain Proctor. This ultimately led to his final, tragic downfall of death. His downfall could have ultimately been prevented, if not for his tragic flaw. His sense of pride prevented him from admitting to the adultery. Thus, the town did not understand Abigail’s motivation as did Proctor. He could have also prevented his demise if he had chosen to sign the paper. However, he feels that his name is “not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang” and chooses death over humility. This play exhibits tragedy because, though Proctor had many opportunities to change his fate, he chooses his demise because his tragic flaw prohibits him from doing otherwise. John Proctor is the tragic hero of the play, “The Crucible.” He has a high social status in the town, yet, because of his tragic flaw, he cannot bring himself to prevent his own death and tragic downfall. Proctor exhibits these tragic traits, making this play a tragedy of self-respect prevailing over shame and public
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