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John Proctor, the protagonist of The Crucible, is in desperate need of forgiveness at the start of the play... but his wife seems torn about whether to grant it. He committed adultery earlier that year while she was sick, and though his lover (Abigail Williams) is now out of his life, Elizabeth still judges him for it.
More importantly, he still judges himself. It isn’t until Elizabeth forgives him and admits her own faults that John Proctor is able to forgive himself. It is also what gives him the courage to go to his death.
Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
Even though John Proctor wants his wife’s forgiveness, he actually needs to forgive himself, just like she says.
Although Elizabeth Proctor argues that John is his own worst judge and needs to forgive himself, she is justified to think that he is still not completely faithful in his heart.
John Proctor's Pride and Reputation in The Crucible Essay
807 Words4 Pages
Pride and Reputation
Purist Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 suffered from a rapidly increasing phenomenon: witchcraft accusations and trials. The Crucible is a play that recounts the times of this incident. For the most part, it follows a man known as John Proctor. He is a sensible, honest, and hardworking man who made the mistake of succumbing to lust which sets off a chain of events that leads to the witch trials, and to his own demise. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible’s protagonist John Proctor proves to be a flawed human being who struggles to make sense of his past relationship with Abigail, his love for his wife, and his pride. In the previous winter, John’s wife Elizabeth had become very ill. John Proctor had an affair during…show more content…
His first display of this is shown when the Court officials come to take Elizabeth away. Proctor was so angered by this attack on his house that he ripped the warrant and told them to leave his house. He then tried to bribe Herrick, a court official, not to chain her, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Proctor recognized that he could save his wife by making his relationship with Abigail public, and therefore expose her motives, but his pride keeps him from doing so. Finally though, Proctor abandoned his concern for his reputation which enabled him to admit his sin in order to save his wife.
“A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg you—see her what she is . . . She thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore's vengeance, and you must see it, I set myself entirely in your hands. (Miller 110)
The confession was too late. Proctor ended up being accused of witchcraft himself after his wife lied to the court to save his name from lechery.
Months after the trial, John Proctor sat in a jail cell, struggling between survival and pride. He would be pardoned if he signed a confession of being a witch, yet his name would be soiled. Pressured from Danforth and Hathorne, Proctor succumbed and signed the confession, then immediately snatched it back up.
“Because it is