John Proctor - a Tragic Hero in The Crucible

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About this sample


Words: 422 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 1, 2019

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Words: 422|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 1, 2019

Essay grade:
arrow downward Read Review

John Proctor is a character in The Crucible who can be described as a tragic hero. Firstly, John Proctor’s tragic flaw was his great amount of pride, that slowly tied a series of unfortunate events, eventually making Proctor succumb to his death. However, Proctor does die for a crime he did not commit. Another important part of being a tragic hero is that the character has a complete reversal of fortune brought by their own flaw: Proctor’s life turned completely upside down when Abigail accuses Elizabeth, who then was sent to jail and this all started because John had committed adultery. At the end of every tragic play, the audience must feel pity for the deceased hero- also known as catharsis, which means cleansing of emotions.

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This is also very clearly evident in the play right at the end when Proctor is hung and the audience is left in sorrow. John Proctor is a classic tragic hero because he contains most of the elements of a tragic hero such as hamartia, peripeteia, catharsis, and despite not being born into nobility, he possesses many noble characteristics. In The Crucible, John Proctor’s tragic flaw was his overwhelming hubristic character that made a pathway for his death. Pride plays an interesting role in the life of John Proctor in The Crucible. At the end of the play when Proctor is asked to sign the piece of paper with his name, confessing that he helped the devil, Proctor refused “Because it (was his) name!”. This short exclamative suggests to the reader just how much of value his name is to him. Proctor’s pride in himself causes him to think that he would rather die then confess and ruin his reputation. He wages an internal, war between his conscience and pride.

During the trials, Proctor refused to testify against Abigail in order to prevent his name from being blackened. He cares much for his name and in the society he lived in at the time he was highly respected and was looked up to by others in his town. He also confessed that he “cannot have another (name) In (his) life!”, as he is an adulterer and would lose his high status. Proctor lived in a Puritan society where lechery would have been unacceptable, however Proctor attempted very hard to maintain his good name and reputation by keeping it between himself and Abigail, as if this sin was revealed to the society Proctor would lose all his respect good name and reputation and would be punished severely, likely death.

Hook Examples for “The Crucible” Essay

  • Dramatic Excerpt: “Because it is my name!” These haunting words uttered by John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ echo the internal struggle of a man torn between pride and morality. Join me as we delve into the tragic journey of a character whose name became his ultimate downfall.
  • Thought-Provoking Question: What drives a man to choose death over tarnishing his reputation? John Proctor’s unwavering pride in his name propels the gripping narrative of ‘The Crucible,’ challenging us to ponder the limits of personal integrity.
  • Character Analysis: In the world of literature, few characters embody the essence of a tragic hero as profoundly as John Proctor. As we dissect his pride, flaws, and redemption, we unravel the layers of complexity that make him an enduring figure in American drama.
  • Historical Parallel: John Proctor’s struggle for his name and reputation resonates with the historical backdrop of the Salem witch trials. Explore with me how Miller’s portrayal of Proctor mirrors the real-life conflicts of individuals accused of witchcraft in 17th-century America.
  • The Power of Reputation: In a society where a name could mean the difference between life and death, John Proctor’s unwavering commitment to preserving his reputation reveals the profound influence of societal norms in ‘The Crucible.’ Together, we’ll navigate the treacherous terrain of Puritan New England.

Works Cited

  1. Miller, Arthur. (2003). The Crucible. Penguin Books.
  2. Campbell, Lily. (2017, December 7). John Proctor as a Tragic Hero in The Crucible. The Odyssey Online.
  3. Jackson, Robert. The Tragic Hero of Arthur Miller’s Play, The Crucible.
  4. Johnson, Kevin R. (2006). Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: A Defense for Proctor. The Explicator, 64(3), 155-157. doi: 10.3200/EXPL.64.3.155-157
  5. Strout, Richard. (1955). Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne: Some Parallels. American Literature, 27(1), 1-13. doi: 10.2307/2921827
  6. Coker, Catherine. (1963). Puritanism in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The New England Quarterly, 36(4), 471-477. doi: 10.2307/364489
  7. Lister, Vivian. (1974). The Problem of Character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Twentieth Century Literature, 20(3), 201-214. doi: 10.2307/441170
  8. Bloom, Harold (Ed.). (1999). Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Chelsea House Publishers.
  9. Tucker, Martin. (2013, March 22). The Crucible: Tragic Hero or Coward? The Good Men Project.
  10. Atkinson, Brooks. (1953, January 23). The Crucible: Arthur Miller’s View of Tragedy. The New York Times.
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This essay was graded by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
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Expert Review
Overall, the essay appears to be well-organized and focused on John Proctor as a tragic hero in The Crucible. The writer provides a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph and uses subsequent paragraphs to provide evidence to support this claim. The sentence structure is generally clear and concise.
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What can be improved
There are a few areas where the essay could be improved. Firstly, the essay could benefit from more attention to transitions between paragraphs to ensure a smooth flow of ideas. Additionally, the voice of the essay could be strengthened by using more varied sentence structures and by avoiding repetition of certain phrases or ideas.

Cite this Essay

John Proctor – a Tragic Hero in The Crucible. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from
“John Proctor – a Tragic Hero in The Crucible.” GradesFixer, 27 Feb. 2019,
John Proctor – a Tragic Hero in The Crucible. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 May 2024].
John Proctor – a Tragic Hero in The Crucible [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Feb 27 [cited 2024 May 19]. Available from:
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