Lets first begin by describing the society and place where John proctor lived and worked. Salem had been founded by the pilgrim fathers, a group of strict puritans. The puritans were very strict, swearing, drunkenness and gambling were punished. They celebrated Christmas by fasting. Theatre nd entertainment were condemned, the people also believed in the devil and witch craft. In this society your good name meant everything and people would go to any length to protect it. The village was built next to a forest, which scared most of the inhabitants because they believed the devil roamed the forest.
There are many examples of how John is the hero of this play. John has an acute sense of what is right and wrong because he didn't drop charges against Abigail even when the court offered Elizabeth to be free until the baby was born because John Proctor doesn't want to leave his friends (his conscience willnot let him).
John is high up in the pecking order of the village, he was a significaant figure and was able to use this status for generally good purposes as was the case when he knew Mary Warren was going to go back to Abigails side so he decided to bring up the adultry incident with Abigail and the only reason why the Judges believe John was because he was going to loose his good name, "I have made a bell of my honour, I have rung the doom of my good name - you will believe me Mr Danforth!" Also John is not only afraid of loosing his name but he is afraid of loosing his wife.. Whem his wife gets accused and arrested,. it triggers him off and he rushes off to testify to get her back, he doesn't care about his name anymore, just about his wifes well being, Towards the conclusing of the play it is clear that John has agreed to loose his good name and his pecking order in the community, he has agreed to confess becaause he would like to be with his wife whom he loves, not knowing she has done it, Elizabeth puts pressure on John by telling him Giles did not confess and die and also when he writes his confession, Rebecca who is going to herdeath, knows John has confessed and puts even more pressure on him by saying "Oh John - God send his mercy on you". All this time the dilemour is raging on inside his head and finally with all the pressure John cracks and doesn't confess confess eventually dying for what he believed in and saving his name from being blackened.
John Proctor was not totally white he was a human being and with all human beings they have many floures in their character, and John was no exception as can clearly be seen when at the start of the play even though he should have told the people it wasn't witch craft itr was mischief, and even though Abigail admitted it to him, "Oh, she's only gone silly some how", he doesn't say anything which means he could have avoided the whole thing so if you like he was the cause of the drama spiralling out of control, and even when things turned chaotic still he wouldn't testify ( loose his name), the only thing that eventually changed his mind was his wife being accused so he wasn't given any other choice but to testify and save her life.
Right at the4 end he decided to confess which was the wrong thing, but right at the last minute his concience was to much to bear for him.
My final thoughts on the play are that John is a hero, along the way he made a few mistakes but this made the character believeable because it makes him look human. At the end he was tempted but he stood his ground and died for what he believed in. This played with the audiences minds because you wanted him to live, but you wanted him to do the right thing which you kn ew meant he had to die, and this in my eyes makes up John Proctor the hero of the Crucible.