Triles of the Witches
A tragic hero is a character who’s flaw or mistake ultimately leads to their downfall. In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, the small town of salem is engaged in a crisis due to accusations of witchcraft. Every character is either lying to same themselfs or to end others lives, or dying for not admitting to a lie. One of the accused is John Proctor, a strong and moral farmer. John proctor meets the definition of a tragic hero because his fatal flaws, his affair with abigail, and his pride. However, John’s redemption at the end of the play saves his morals. Desire definitely does play a role in John Proctors downfall; if not for his desire for abby and their resulting affair, then he and Elizabeth might have been spared.
The affair with abigail is part of his downfall because it starts the witch trials. Everything would have probably be better if the affair did not happen. Abigail doesn’t want to believe that her affair with proctor is over. Abigail tries to kill elizabeth Proctor by using witchcraft with other girls in the town. When parris finds them the town begins to blacklist the girls, then call out the names of the others they have suppodsibley seen with the devil in order to save their reputations and possibly their lives. The affair also caused elizabeth to also distrust her husband John, who for 7 months was trying to get in her good graces and is tired of her suspicions. He tells her ” spare me! You forget nothin’ and forgive nothin’. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in his house all seven months since she was gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart I cannot speak but I am doubted, every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when i come into this house”.(Miller 54-55) This demonstrate Johns determination in trying to redeem himself for his sin because john can not control his desire and resist temptation, his life is being destroyed by jealousy and need for revenge on abigail, indicating the begging of his downfall and road to becoming a tragic hero.
John Proctor’s major flaw was his pride. Johns glory and good name is what kept him from confessing him cheating on his wife. Elizibith asked him to go into the courtroom and tell that abagial is a fraud but proctor refused. He said ” I know I cannot keep it. I say I will think on it”.(Miller 53) Nonetheless, when elisibith is arrested, john has to choose between his pride and his wife. He tries to fix it by bringing Mary warren into the court to confess to lies and pretense This fails when Mary Warren turns on him and he has to admit to cheating on his wife unfortunaly, he too is arrested after elishibith is questioned about his confession by Danforth.elisibith denies his unfaithfulness in order to protect Johns name, causeing his arrest for prejury and witchcraft. This proves John is trying to do good but misfourtes show up, which is another quality that makes John Proctor a tragic hero of the play. Proctor goes to jail and things get worse, while proctor is in jail, his wife elisibith tries to convince him to sign of the innocents , but his pride gets in the way and he was hanged.
The court gives him a warning with which he could plead guilty and live, or be hanged with the others that did not confess. After speaking with elizinith, John desides he wants to live and surrenders to a confession. After he signs the confession, he tears it up after learning that Danforth means to hang his confession on the church doors. As reverend Parris and Hale are about to object, John pronounces” I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it!”.(Miller 144), refferring to his honesty. He would rather die for the greater good, then ruin his name and names of the other prisioners. elizibith does not try to stop him even knowing that he needed to do this, tearfully saying to Hale “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him”.(Miller 145) Proctor provides his pride and diginity, dying as a man with flaws but a good man, becoming the tragic hero of the Crucible.
As the play develops we see that John Proctor is the tragic hero of the crucible. His flaws destroy him but at the end of the play he preserves his pride and dies as a good man. Arthur Miller uses John Proctor to show us how someone can overcome mistakes in life and shield one’s dignity.