John Proctor: A Tragic Hero this essay shows how john proctor of Arthur Millers THe Crucible is a tragic hero in the classic sense

Essay by marysthebestmHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2003

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There are many different definitions of a tragic hero. Aristotle claimed "The tragic hero evokes our pity and terror if he is neither thoroughly good nor thoroughly evil but a mixture of both. The tragic hero evokes our pity because he is not evil and his misfortune is greater than he deserves, and he evokes our fear because we realize we are fallible and could make the same error." ( Another definition describes an archetypal tragic hero as having six distinct characteristics. They are "Noble stature, tragic flaw, free choice, punishment exceeding crime, increased awareness, (the ability to) produce catharsis in the audience". ( In The Crucible by Arthur Miller John Proctor is by definition a tragic hero.

The first characteristic of a tragic hero was "Noble stature: since tragedy involves the 'fall' of a tragic hero... one must have a lofty position to fall from, or else there is not tragedy."

( John Proctor of The Crucible had noble stature. "Proctor was one of the strongest opposers of the Reverend Parris. As you know the most vocal of a crowd, as John Proctor was of the group that disliked Parris, usually holds the most lofty position." (Creamer)

The second characteristic was "Tragic flaw: the tragic hero must 'fall' due to a flaw in his own personality." ( John Proctor "falls" due to his excessive pride. His pride is most well seen in the lines, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!" (Miller 143) In those lines he shows how great his pride is that he will not give up his name, not even for his own life.

The third characteristic was "Free choice: while there is often a discussion of the role of fate in the downfall of a tragic hero,