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Analysis of John Proctor as The Real Puritan in The Crucible

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In the story, The Crucible, it is brought to our attention that being a “real” Puritan is the most important thing during this period. John Proctor is the only one between him and Abigail Williams because she was caught worshiping the devil, she has never attended church, and she broke numerous Commandments. With his wife being accused of witchery, along with him, he ends up being the story’s most central person. In the drama, Abigail Williams was the guilty one of practicing witchcraft, but John Proctor is one who is hanged for it. Abigail had never attended church and does not follow the Puritan life. Throughout the play, Abigail breaks Commandments like lying, worshiping the Devil, and committing adultery. John Proctor is to be considered a “real” Puritan, not Abigail.

According to Britannica, Thomas Dale brought Puritanism to the Virginia colony to form a church government. Puritanism was made in England, during the 16th and 17th centuries. They came up with the idea to try a make a religion a lifestyle. Puritans base their lives on the church, and they allow the church to make the rules, and the decisions in their lives. The Puritan life and beliefs are very strict, and they believe that if you follow the rules, you will have a peaceful afterlife in heaven with God.

During Puritan times, witches and witchcraft were taking very seriously due to it being considered “the Devil’s work”. Witches were known to have rituals, spirits over-taking their bodies, and can talk to the devil. Abigail, at the beginning of the story, was caught by her uncle during a ritual she was participating in. She did the ritual to kill Elizabeth, Proctor’s wife, so, she can have John Proctor for himself. When he refused to be with Abigail, she accused Elizabeth of witchcraft and having Voodoo dolls in her house. Abigail accused multiple women, with good reputations, of practicing the Devil’s work, so she would belittle her chances of getting in trouble.

Abigail never attended church because she was busy doing Devil rituals. John Proctor has given the town good reasoning on why he doesn’t attend church: he doesn’t like Reverend Parris and his views. As said before, her uncle, Reverend Parris, saw her and multiple girls practicing witchery. This proves that Abigail isn’t interested in being a part of the Puritan life and attending church and that John Proctor tries to be apart as much as he can.

Throughout the play, Abigail breaks many commandments. One commandment she broke is the ninth commandment: Lying. She lies about her devil-worshiping ritual, Mary taking control of her body, and having an affair with Proctor. John Proctor did lie about having an affair, but he ended up confessing the lie and asking for forgiveness. Another commandment that was broken by Abigail is the first commandment- worshiping anyone else, but God. It is proven that she practiced witchery: rituals and drinking blood. John Proctor has never worshiped anyone else, but God. Another commandment that Abigail broke was the seventh commandment: adultery. She slept with John Proctor, and he is married to Elizabeth Proctor. John Proctor is also guilty, but he does confess of sinning in front of the judge. It is very easy to see that Abigail broke more commandments than John Proctor, and John Proctor did confess to his commandments.

Puritanism is the town’s way of life. Throughout my paper, you can see that Abigail is nowhere close to a “real” Puritan. She is the exact opposite. John Proctor has made some mistakes because he is human, and he should be able to be considered a “real” Puritan. He may not follow every single rule, but he means well and has his life with God. Between Abigail Williams and John Proctor, John Proctor is the “real” Puritan.


  • Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Cliffs Notes Inc., 1998.
  • “Puritanism.” Edited by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 21 Sept. 2018,   

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Analysis Of John Proctor As The Real Puritan In The Crucible. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
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