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John Proctor - Tragic Hero
Transcript of John Proctor - Tragic Hero
What is a "tragic hero?"
A great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.
Examples . . .
Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet
Who is John Proctor?
The main character of
John Proctor is an upright, honest, and blunt man; a good one to say the least. He has one fatal flaw. . . This sets the stage for a classical tragedy with Proctor as the tragic hero.
John Proctor can be considered a tragic hero because he is neither thoroughly good nor thoroughly bad, but a mixture of both who is destined for a dramatic downfall. . . .
He has one tragic flaw.
He confessed his sins.
He dies in the play.
His one tragic flaw!
[insert Abigail Williams]
"I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near"
- Abigail Williams, page 23
John admits his "fatal" attraction.
Attraction for Abigail Williams dooms the fate of others - he wouldn't confess and therefore Abigail continued her plan to get John back.
This attraction caused his own downfall and that of his wife, Elizabeth . . .
"I have made a bell of honor. I have rung the doom of my good name - you will believe me, Mr. Danforth! My is innocent, except she knew a whore when she saw one."
- John Proctor, page 116
Proctor believed he was untouchable.
As long as he apologized after, everything was alright.
He confessed his sins
he was able to forgive himself.
He found peace in that he didn't condemn his friends.
"I blacken all of them the day this nalied to the church the very day they hang for silence."
-John Proctor, page 150
John keeps his name as a good man.
"Because it is my name . Because I cannot have another in my life."
-John Proctor, page 150
HE CONFESSED. . . .
to his wife what he did with Abigail.
to the court his flaw.
He dies in this play. . . .
but with honor and peace.
"He have his goodness now. God forbid I take from him."
-Elizabeth Proctor, page 152
Order has been restored at the end of the play, but only as a result of his death.
John dies for the sake of others - his children, Elizabeth, and the citizens of Salem.
He dies with the goodness of his name - respect.
"In Proctor's presecence, a fool felt his foolishness instantly."
-Arthur Miller, page 21
Although John Proctor had one tragic flaw, he was able to confess his sins in order to die for those around him and for the goodness of himself, making him the perfect tragic hero.