Crucible As A Hero
A tragedy should bring fear and pity to the reader. A man in this tragedy not
should be exceptionally righteous, but his faults should come about because of a
certain irreversible error on his part. This man should find a bad or fatal
ending to add to the tragedy of the story, for this man in the tragic hero. The
protagonist John Proctor portrays a tragic hero in The Crucible; his hamartia of
adultery causes great internal struggles, he displays hubris by challenging
authority, and he encounters catastrophe through recognition and reversal. John

Proctorís decision to betray his wife causes internal struggles and ultimately
leads to his catastrophe at the end of the drama. Hamartia is the primary error
of the tragic hero which provokes part of his misfortune. Proctorís serious
mistake of adultery delivers problems with Abigail Williams and indirectly
causes his jailing. Abigail is a grown young woman, and yet she is an orphan who
mistakes John Proctorís sex for true love. When Proctor tells Abigail that the
relationship can no longer continue, the girl becomes angry and sorrowful
(1098). In order to prove Abigailís sinfulness and to discredit her in front
of the court, Proctor proclaims that he had an affair with this evil child. The
outraged court officials summon Elizabeth Proctor to find the truth. When asked
about her husband, Elizabethís soul is twisted, for reporting the truth could
destroy her husbandís reputation, but lying means breaking her solemn oath to

God. Because she is selfless, Elizabeth chooses to lie and save her husband, but
perhaps condemn herself to hell for such a sin. This scene indicates dramatic
irony, for Proctor knows that which Elizabeth is not aware of, and this is that
he has already "confessed it" (1148). The court jails Proctor; Elizabeth

Proctorís selfless act backfires. Proctorís hamartia of adultery indirectly
causes his jailing and gives him the reputation of a liar. The court views his
real truth as a lie and believes he defies authority. Although John Proctor does
not truly defy authority in this scene of the play, for he tells the truth and
his wife lies, he challenges control in many other instances. John Proctor
exposes hubris through his hate of Reverend Parris. Hubris is placing ones self
equal to authority or to God, and it is a necessary trait of the tragic hero.

John Proctor proclaims that he does not go to Church, an act the court and
townspeople view as a revolt on the supremacy of God, because the Reverend

Parris is corrupt. Parris is greedy and cares more about the sake of his
reputation that the health of his own daughter. Proctor resents the Church
because Parris runs it. In the eyes of officials, this casual negligence of God
turns Proctor into an unchristian, sinful rebel. Though Proctorís reasons for
disregarding the Church are quite reasonable, people do not accept them in this
time of devils and evil. The tragic hero not only places himself as an equal of

God, but as an equal of court authority as well. John Proctor insults the court
by tearing up a search warrant, and officials later accuse him of trying to
overthrow the court because of his controversial evidence against Abigail and
the girls. When Herrick and Cheever appear at the Proctor home to capture and
take away Elizabeth Proctor for witchcraft, Proctor vigorously protests, for he
knows that Abigail Williams created a scheme in order to get rid of his wife.

John Proctor does not tolerate this; because he is a tragic hero, he does not
allow another soul to suffer for his mistake. As a challenge to court authority,
he tears up the search warrant (1127). This act escalates the war between

Proctor and the court. Proctor will go to the extreme, even if it means
punishment by death, in order to save his wife. Proctor delivers to the court
his statement that Abigail and the other girls are frauds. He has no desire to
bring forth this information because he knows it will simply anger Abigail and
most likely ruin him because of Abigailís power. His statement is necessary,
though, to the salvation of his wife. When Danforth hears John Proctorís
shocking revelation that the girls are frauds, he is outraged and so dismisses
this evidence as an attempt to overthrow the court (1134). Danforth feels he
must choose Abigailís argument over that of Proctorís, for otherwise the
townspeople might view Danforth as a murderer because of his orders to execute
those people accused of witchcraft by Abigail and the