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The Crucible's John Proctor as Tragic Hero According to Arthur Miller's Tragedy and the Common Man - Essay Example

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The Crucible's John Proctor as Tragic Hero According to Arthur Miller's Tragedy and the Common Man

In his essay Tragedy and the Common man, Miller elaborates the profundity of the character of John Proctor and explains the conflict between Proctor, his self and the society in which he was living to affirm his character as tragic hero. Miller’s essay talks about the tragic flaws that Proctor experience on the way to his recognition and maintenance of his image in the society. Miller persuasively supports the character of John Proctor as a tragic hero by explaining different attributes of a tragic hero that are also found in the character of John Proctor. Proctor was a respectable and a moral righteous man who was proud of his smartness and diligence. At the same time, his personality embodies several flaws like his excessive pride, fatal flaw, anger, hatred for corrupts and his unwillingness to remain passive. As the judge Danforth said “Proctor is beyond speech in his anger” (Miller, The Crucible, Act III), however, these characteristics were not actually his personality flaws but his failure to deal with these attributes eventually turned him into a tragic hero. According to Miller "the flaw, or crack in the character, is really nothing--and need be nothing, but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status. Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are "flawless." In the light of Miller’s philosophy, the tragic flaw within Proctor character avert him from accepting any change in his social status and dignity in the eyes of the people around him. He got the chance to save his life but he refused to admit witchcraft and chose to die for the sake of his name. “How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(Miller, The Crucible, Act IV)". It implies that Proctor had the chance to live with his wife but he failed to avail the chance due to his tragic flaw that impeded him from exchanging his life for his pride and social dignity. He complies with the Miller’s definition of tragic hero and proves him among “those who act against the scheme of things that degrades them” (Miller, p4). Thus, the tragic flaws of Proctor character inhibit him from saving his life and he chose to stick on his principles rather selling his name and dignity in exchange for his life. Miller insists that “In the tragic view the need of man to wholly realize himself is the only fixed star, and whatever it is that hedges his nature and lowers it is ripe for attack and examination” (Miller, p4). Proctor was facing the conflict within himself as he was not able to accept certain obvious realities of his life. He remains indifferent to several realities associated with his life and lives in self-denial about his anger and affair with Abigail. He does not want to accept that he was having an affair with Abigail though he was ashamed of his act of cheating his wife and was feeling guilty. I am only wondering how I may prove what she [Abigail] told me, Elizabeth. If the girl’s a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she’s fraud, and the town gone so silly. (The Crucible, Act II). He was not able to judge and evaluate himself justly. In the beginning, he was struggling to discover the truth within himself as he refused to talk about Abigail with Elizabeth because he was drowning in his own guilt. He also wanted to overlook his successive anger and aggression and don’t want to accept it. He faced the conflict between man and self and had to decide what is more important for him, his reputation or his life. In the end he decided that it is ...Show more

Summary

This paper will discuss the character of the John Proctor from the “The Crucible’s” through the Arthur Miller’s essay “Tragedy and the Common man”. In the modern tragedy The Crucible Arthur Miller depicts the character of protagonist John Proctor as tragic hero to illustrate the conflicting situation encountered by a common person in maintaining his respectable image in the society…
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The Crucibles John Proctor as Tragic Hero According to Arthur Millers Tragedy and the Common Man essay example
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