The play’s title, “The Crucible,” refers to a place where substances are melted at high temperatures. This symbolises the play because Salem was tense due to hysteria. Everyone was brought before a judge for witchcraft. Tragic heroes are noble, virtuous characters in dramatic tragedies who are destined for misery, defeat, or downfall. Each character has strengths and flaws. John Proctor is the main protagonist. Arthur Miller portrays Proctor to be a man who is proud of his name and reputation in society. Proctor is well-known for his integrity, honesty, and upright conduct. “Proctor was respected in Salem and even feared by the people.” (Act 1). Proctor still had two fatal flaws. He was involved with Abigail Williams, his 16-year-old maid. These illegal acts would lead to many unforeseen consequences that changed the lives and fortunes of Salem residents.
John Proctor, the main character of this play, was an inactive, non-status-holding member in his society. However, he was respected by Salem. He was a middle-aged farmer with a wicked and bitter approach to hypocrites. Proctor was strong and able to handle pressure. He was, in fact, the kind of man who couldn’t refuse to support partisans without causing their deepest resentment Act 1. He was often criticized for his calumny. Proctor, despite his positive qualities and calm demeanour, was troubled by his thoughts. Act 1: Proctor was a sinner. He committed sin against not only the moral trends of his time but also against his own view of good conduct. Proctor continues making irreversible and serious mistakes that have damaged his reputation. The Puritan religion was strict and had strict laws. They also had no ritual for purifying sins. If someone committed a crime, they were punished severely. Proctor initially tried to cover up his crime because he was afraid of being exiled and hung in a society that values reputation. Proctor’s affair to Abigail Williams causes a series of events that lead to more serious allegations. Proctor initially tried to hide his crime because he was afraid of being exiled or hung in a society where a person’s reputation plays a major role in their daily lives. Proctor didn’t confess initially because he was afraid that he would ruin his family’s reputation. Act two is when Elizabeth encourages Proctor, despite his fear of ruining his family’s reputation, to confess the lies to Abigail. Proctor says that the girl is a saint and refuses to tell Elizabeth what he knows. Proctor was continually irritated by guilt throughout the play. He finally spoke up when Elizabeth, his spouse, was arrested for witchcraft. His past actions were too late. Proctor was charged with witchcraft and sentenced. Proctor was also accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. Injustice and a corrupted Salem court played a significant role in the rise of hysteria in the area. Salem has a witchcraft law that if a person is convicted, they must confess to it to the court. Otherwise, they will be hanged. Many innocent persons falsely accused for witchcraft did not admit to having participated in the sin. They were therefore hanged. The court could have stopped the spread in hysteria by recognizing that the girls were playing on the law. Proctor would have not been sentenced to death and accused of being a noble man. John Proctor still had the opportunity to save his family’s life and was spared death. Proctor was asked to confess to seeing Satan and sign a piece on paper. Proctor refused, however, and was sentenced to death. Proctor also felt he wouldn’t do justice to his friends who had lost their lives trying to save their reputation. Proctor’s character attempts to convey larger messages from Arthur Miller through Proctor. They include the importance of each individual in society, the value and judgment of truth and injustice. Miller was inspired by Marion Starkey’s book “The Devil in Massachusetts” to create ‘The Crucible. Miller noticed similarities between the problems facing people accused of witchcraft at Salem and those charged with communism in connection to Russia during McCarthyism. American authorities had names and addresses of people who were accused of being present at communist meetings. These people were then brought up for trial in order to uncover the truth. The Salem court had a similar list of people who were accused in witchcraft. Both situations saw corrupted authorities and innocent persons were executed. Miller also highlighted through Proctor that every person plays an essential role in society and that their names have significance. Proctor was very worried about his reputation, particularly when it was at risk. Proctor refrains from lying, but rather takes the risk to do the right thing, knowing that his name is in danger. Proctor answered the question, “because it is my name!” Because I can have no other person in my existence! Because I lie. Act 4. Reverend Hale asked Elizabeth to tell her husband that she was sorry and she replied, “He has his goodness now, God forbid he take it from me.” Proctor was the leader of a new generation righteous officials. The idea of justice and reputation was the central theme of “The Crucible”. John Proctor was the best example of these ideas. Proctor, as with all characters, has strengths and also weaknesses. Proctor was well-known for his integrity, honesty, and good standing in Salem. His fatal flaws were what ultimately brought him down. Proctor lost his life to Abigail Williams’ lust and pride for himself and his reputation. Despite all this, Proctor managed to retain his dignity as well as respect for society. This shows that honesty is the key to being a great person and achieving inner peace.