Who is The Protagonist in The Crucible?

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About this sample


Words: 707 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 707|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a renowned play that explores the Salem witch trials of 1692. Set in a Puritan society, the play delves into the hysteria, paranoia, and manipulation that arise as a result of false accusations of witchcraft. While the play has a diverse cast of characters, it is crucial to identify the protagonist, as they drive the plot and undergo significant character development. In this essay, we will analyze the various characters in The Crucible to determine who truly serves as the protagonist. Through an examination of their actions, motivations, and the impact they have on the story, we will argue that John Proctor is the clear protagonist of the play.

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John Proctor, a respected farmer in Salem, plays a central role in the events of The Crucible. His actions are pivotal in driving the plot forward and challenging the injustices that occur during the witch trials. Proctor's initial indifference towards the witch trials sets him apart from the majority of the townspeople, who are quick to believe the accusations. He questions the credibility of the court and expresses doubts about the girls' claims. Proctor's skepticism and refusal to blindly follow the crowd establish him as a critical thinker and a potential force for change.

Furthermore, Proctor's decision to stand up against the court and expose the truth about the girls' deceit is a defining moment in the play. Despite the risks involved, he takes a stand against the hysteria and attempts to bring justice to the innocent. Proctor's actions reflect his willingness to sacrifice his own reputation and ultimately his life for the sake of truth and integrity. This courage and determination to fight against injustice are clear indicators of his protagonist status.

In addition to his actions, Proctor's motivations also align with those of a protagonist. Throughout the play, Proctor's main goal is to protect his wife, Elizabeth, and salvage their damaged relationship. His affair with Abigail Williams, one of the accusers, has strained their marriage, and Proctor seeks redemption and forgiveness. His efforts to reconcile with Elizabeth and prove his loyalty demonstrate his growth as a character and his desire for personal redemption.

Furthermore, Proctor's motivations extend beyond his personal relationships. He is driven by a sense of justice and a desire to expose the truth behind the witch trials. Proctor recognizes the inherent flaws in the court system and the danger it poses to innocent lives. His motivations align with the greater good, making him a protagonist who seeks to bring about positive change and challenge the oppressive forces at play.

Lastly, Proctor's impact on the story solidifies his role as the protagonist. His actions and motivations directly influence the development of the plot and the other characters. Proctor's decision to confess his affair with Abigail in court sets off a chain of events that leads to the exposure of Abigail's lies and manipulation. This revelation shakes the foundation of the witch trials and exposes the corrupt nature of the court system.

Furthermore, Proctor's refusal to sign a false confession, even when faced with the possibility of saving his own life, is a powerful moment that showcases his unwavering integrity. This act of defiance inspires others to question the legitimacy of the court and the accusations, ultimately contributing to the downfall of the witch trials. Proctor's impact on the story is not only significant but also instrumental in bringing about a resolution and exposing the truth.

In conclusion, John Proctor emerges as the clear protagonist in The Crucible. Through his actions, motivations, and impact on the story, Proctor displays the qualities of a central character who drives the plot and undergoes significant character development. His skepticism, courage, and determination to fight against injustice differentiate him from the other characters and establish him as the protagonist. Proctor's actions, motivated by a desire for personal redemption and the pursuit of justice, directly influence the development of the plot and the other characters, ultimately leading to the exposure of the truth and the downfall of the witch trials. Arthur Miller's choice to center the play around Proctor's journey highlights the importance of individual integrity and the power of standing up against injustice, making The Crucible a timeless and thought-provoking piece of literature.


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Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Penguin Classics, 2003.

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Who Is The Protagonist In The Crucible? (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Who Is The Protagonist In The Crucible?” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Who Is The Protagonist In The Crucible? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Who Is The Protagonist In The Crucible? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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