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The Crucible : Tragic Hero - Essay Example

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Arthur Miller in the drama ‘The Crucible’ charts the downfall of John Proctor, a tragic hero. John Proctor definitely qualifies as a tragic hero since he had a fatal flaw which led to his downfall. …
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The Crucible Essay: Tragic Hero
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"The Crucible : Tragic Hero"

Download file to see previous pages He was a man of great pride and temper. It was hard to imagine that a man could be filled with so much pride that it finally led to his downfall and destruction. However, it is his flaws that make him human and raise him to the level of a tragic hero. Though Proctor possessed many positive qualities, yet, he had a darker side to his character as well, and it is this dark side that surfaces from time to time creating havoc to his personal life and dragging him down from his pedestal of a hero. In this essay we are about to discuss the incidents that contributed towards Proctor becoming a tragic hero. Paragraph 1 (Complex character with analysis) Proctor’s personality and character was a complex blend of Puritanical pride, anger and a deep sense of self- loathing. He is very unpredictable especially when he does not have control over a particular situation. For example, on one hand, he was a sympathetic and good natured character who was friendly and helpful to those around him, but when things did not work out in his favor or when things went against him, he would resort to a display of anger through physical violence and by threatening and shouting. Another example of such violence and change of character is seen when he threatens to lay the whip on his wife, his ex-mistress and even on the servant girl. Towards the end of the play we see that his anger is caused by injustice in society and so this trait helps in ennobling him and endearing him to his audiences. Yet another example of Proctor’s crucial mistakes was that he had committed adultery with Abigail which led to his fatal downfall. He wouldn’t be a tragic hero if he did not have flaws. Proctor fully well understood his complex personality and was even able to identify the source of his downfall and this is what makes the play all the more a great success. If he had to be portrayed as a flawless hero, then the play would have been devoid of the tragic element. An example of this complexity is evident when he had the chance to save his life but yet he did not barter it at the cost of his pride and good name. He was so courageous in that he stood his ground and accepted death in defence of truth. Paragraph 2 (His Pride with example and analysis) Pride was John’s major flaw and it was this pride that led him to his downfall. We see the height of his pride in the following example when he had been accused of being a witch. At the court the judge believed in his innocence and was willing to set him free and let him live on the condition that he agreed to sign a confession. However, Proctor clearly understood that signing the confession would not only scar his name but also bring disrepute to the good name of the family and affect the reputation of his children. Therefore, instead of signing, he stood on moral high ground and accepted death rather than cause harm to his children. This example proves that he also has a good side to his character which tends to surface time and again and draws sympathy from the reader. Paragraph 3 – (His Self esteem with example and analysis) Self-esteem was a major part of John Proctor’s life and this is what set him apart from most of the members in his locality. For example, the Putnam’s strongly felt that any authority should be obeyed at all costs, but John Proctor was never backward to speak out his mind especially in the face of injustice. Yet another example of his self esteem is manifested throughout the play when he disagrees openly about the actions of Reverend Parris. His keen sense of justice did not allow him to stoop down to the level of Abigail and it was his self esteem which was a major contributor that led him to his execution. A good example of his show of self esteem was when he understood that he had been defeated by Abigail and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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