A tragic hero is a character in literature that has fatal faults or commits mistakes in judgment. The character suffers catastrophe as a result of external powers and destiny. In the play “The Crucible,” John Proctor is presented as the sad hero with the most faults. He has a crush on his adolescent housekeeper, and he attempts to conceal the adulatory felony he has committed for fear of being banished to a different town or losing his high status. However, this incident sets off a chain of events, and the unconfirmed accusation causes internal strife and potential disasters. This paper examines why John Proctor is a tragic hero in Shakespeare’s play. First, Proctor is a respected man in Salem. However, he continues making severe and permanent mistakes in defining his fate that harms his society’s status. He initially tries to hide his mistakes, but the affair triggers more severe events in society. In the end, he had to admit his affair with the teenage house servant for the sake of desperate situations, and it was too late to reverse any of his actions (Miller). He was also convicted of witchcraft, and his punishment was death.
In the play, he attempted to save his wife from witchcraft and accepts his crime of lechery. From accepting his act, he had planned to show the house servant’s real motive because of accusing his wife. ‘A man will not cast away his good name. You surely know that… She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it, I set myself entirely in your hands’ (Miller). This earns him views of disapproval and is later jailed together with his wife.
He contains most elements of a tragic hero, peripeteia, hamartia, and owns most nobility characters despite not being born in a noble background. In the play, his tragic flaws and the hubristic character lead to the proctor’s death. He also had much pride, which has been illustrated in parts of the play. He refused to confess his mistakes and opted to die rather than ruining his reputation.
At the end of the play, he endures all receptacles and stands with his philosophies and beliefs but was convicted. He tries to save himself during judgment, but all his efforts lead him to more trouble until it was too late and could not escape the consequences of his deeds. He had temporarily neglected his wife, and principles die to las, which landed him at the work position in his life. His fate was tragic in the play, but he still portrayed some good human characters, which made him an exceptional tragic character.
Proctor fought for his loved ones and his reputations entirely despite his flaws. He was a man of courage and dignity in the play. However, he had some flaws and the Fatale tragedy he encountered, like being in an affair with a teenage girl. During his trials, he was sympathetic despite the evil deeds and evoked sympathy from his audience. The audience feels sorry for him as he tries to set out most things around him right, but it all ends in misery. This makes him an exceptional tragic hero in the play.
Miller, Arthur. “The Crucible (1953).” The New York Times (1953): 15.