The Crucible, “Who is The Main Protagonist Of the Play?”
ES. 10/13/13 Integrity Over Life Itself In the spectacular play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the leading protagonist was a man named John Proctor. John Proctor was married to Elizabeth Proctor and was a local farmer in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a harsh toned man who hated hypocrisy and was not a die hard Puritan like a majority of the people living in his community, but still followed God. Unfortunately his wife Elizabeth became very ill and was not able to continue a loving relationship with him.
During that time their relationship grew apart and John Proctor started to fancy their household servant, a young girl named Abigail Williams. This lead to an affair between them. Committing adultery at the time of the Salem Witch Trials was illegal and was a total disgrace. John Proctor admitted to his wife to taking part in a affair with their servant Abigail Williams, but Elizabeth Proctor’s love for him was too strong. She forgave him, but when urging John Proctor to denouncing Abigail as a fraud she became jealous, and accused him for still having feelings for her, when he had denied to that.
In order to regain the trust of his wife, John Proctor confesses to having an affair with Abigail. Elizabeth then quickly lies to the court in order to protect John’s name. Every play must have a believable protagonist whom the audience cares about, and John Proctor’s role as a tragic hero is perfectly portrayed in the play, which makes him a believable protagonist. John Proctor is a tragic hero because he was heroic in representing his individual freedom to the Salem Court more than anyone else throughout the whole play.
He heroically sacrificed everything to help save his family’s name and to help the innocent townsfolk who were being accused of conspiring with the devil. John Proctor’s tragic flaw was what got him in the unfortunate situation of being trialed at the Salem Witch Trials, which was the adultery he committed with Abigail Williams. He also stood up for his own religious beliefs which was different from the stern beliefs of the Puritans. John Proctor did not go to church every Sunday and broke the Sabbath by plowing on a Sunday, which was nacceptable to the Puritan people. “I-I have once or twice plowed on a Sunday. ” Admitted John Proctor to Judge Danforth showing that his morals were not equal to the majority of the people living in his Puritan based society. John Proctor was also the first person to refuse to sign any confessions with conspiring with the devil or taking part in any form of witch craft. He refuses to sign a confession because he wasn’t going to confess and look guilty for something he took no part in. Also because he did not want to tarnish his family’s name.
Tarnishing his family’s name would result in cursing it and that would strongly affect the lives of his unborn child and his wife Elizabeth. Sacrifice is a large part of being a hero. John Proctor gave his life to protect and ultimately save his unborn child’s and wife’s lives. John Proctor was in a situation where he had to choose between his life and his integrity. To him, honesty and his moral uprightness, and the saving of many innocent people was more important than living a lie. Signing a confession stating he conspired with the devil would be a lie. Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! ” Stated John Proctor in the play. He clearly expressed that fact that his integrity meant everything to him and a life without integrity was not a life worth living. John Proctor did commit a terrible sin, but throughout the play he proves himself to being a good man.
While a widespread hysteria hit Salem many people lost their sense of reality and would accuse anyone including innocent people for actions involving witchcraft and the devil, just to help secure themselves from being accused of crime. Even with the chaos John Proctor was able to keep his wits and found it more important to help save his family and the innocent people living in Salem, then save himself. This bravery and his high sense of integrity grasped the attention of the play’s audience. The play had its audience on the edges of their seats dying to know how John Proctor would face the situation he was in.
His honesty, integrity, and loyalty made the audience care about him and respect his decision. Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible was about a strong test of morality. The protagonist John Proctor demonstrated it perfectly. Even though he wasn’t a perfect Puritan and or a perfect husband, he was able to take full responsibility of his actions and even save his integrity, his family, and many innocent people. He was a very brave man for making the ultimate sacrifice of giving his life for what was more important to him.