How Was John Proctor Was an Honorable Man - Witchcraft Essay Example
Defying authority is hard - How Was John Proctor Was an Honorable Man introduction. Religious laws with strict death penalties for those who defy authority are even harder. In the story The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a brave and stern character named John Proctor dwells within the plot of the play. Proctor was one of the few sensible people in the town of Salem to see the lies in Abigail’s witchcraft accusations. Proctor has a great will and love for his word and his wife. Honest, upright, and blunt-spoken, Proctor is a good man with one detrimental flaw: he has committed adultery with a young crazy girl named Abigail.
Little to John’s knowledge, his affair with young Abigail proved to be more fatal than he had expected. Because “a promise is made in any bed”; Abigail began to grow jealous of Proctor’s beloved wife, Elizabeth Proctor. By opposing hypocrisy, treating his wife with the utmost respect and outright love, and giving his own life to save others, Proctor has proved to be a very admirable character. In the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, the overflowing fountain of hypocrisy was beginning to be noticed by the more aware citizens of the Puritan homestead.
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Reverend Parris, a “man of God”; is one of the more dishonest characters in the play. Claiming to be a man of God, Parris, upon discovering hisniece and daughter dancing in the forest, refuses to let Abigail tell the truth because his reputation would be ruined and he would no longer be paid for his services. While exploring his biography, the reader may discover how Parris is a former merchant who “turned to God”; however, his merchant’s past reveres Parris’ lust for money, especially since his mercantile business failed. Other forms of hypocrisy sweeping the town of Salem lie in the deeds of the townsfolk.
As the witch hunt kills and hurt innocent families, greedy land owners accuse their neighbors and neighbors’ families in order to seize their land. From Mr. Putman accusing his old neighbor of witchcraft so Putnam can get the land after his neighbor was condemn to death. Because Proctor did not join in with the witch hunt or give into his desire for more land, John Proctor successfully evaded being a hypocrite. Proctor’s wife Elizabeth was the main victim of the witch hunt and Proctor’s sinful deed of adultery; despite this awful truth, Proctor managed to redeem himself in Elizabeth’s eyes through his love and compassion.
After discovering Proctor’s secret meeting with Abigail where the two discussed the standing of the witch trials and how it “was all just sport”; Elizabeth made her husband promise to tell Danforth about what Abigail has told him. Despite her obvious discontent with Proctor’s secrecy in the sense of “back[ing] away” from his kiss, Elizabeth soon forgave her husband when trial came. As Proctor risked his own “name” to end the dreaded trials, Elizabeth sought only to protect her beloved husband, compelling her to lie for his sake. Having redeemed himself (John Proctor), Elizabeth would argue her husband’s honor and morality.
Proctor has proved he is a saint but also be willing to confront his mistakes this proves Proctor is an admirable character in this story. “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him. ” (Act Four, Lines 13-14) where the last words said by Elizabeth Proctor before her husband’s death. Towards the end of act III, Proctor is offered to either be hanged like the rest of the accused witches or sign a confession to continue living his life. Upon learning that his name would be available to public viewing, Proctor indulged in an angry tirade. “Because it is my Name!
Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! ” Proctor argues to Danforth to not make his confession public in order to maintain his trust which can never be replaced and force him to live with guilt for the rest of his miserable life. On a deeper note, Proctor knew if he had confessed to witchcraft, his effort to destroy the town’s hypocrisy and kill the witch trials would have been for nothing because he would become a hypocrite himself.
By methods of denying hypocrites, redeeming his relationship with his wife, and surrendering his life to save others, Proctor has indeed proven himself to be an admirable character. Despite the dirty deeds of his teenage mistress Abigail, Proctor was able to successfully overcome his biggest fears and stressors in order to put an end to the Salem Witch trials. If Proctor’s legacy is remembered and followed, then similar experiences in history to come will surely have a much better than if people are to follow the simple minded lead of the citizens of Salem, Massachusetts.