Who is John Proctor In The Crucible?

Updated: November 28, 2022
John Proctor is a husband and father who is struggling to make ends meet. He is also a man with a dark past who is struggling to find redemption.
Detailed answer:

John Proctor is the main character in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible. He is an honest, hardworking shoemaker, who is struggling to make ends meet, and who lives in Salem Village with his wife and two children, Abigail Parris and Betty Parris, though Abigail’s absence from the village for most of the play leaves the Proctors with only Betty at home. Proctor helps run his brother’s farm, and often acts as a part-time minister. His religious testimony, however, wavers during the play, as he begins to see the town’s witch trials as persecution. By the end of the play, Proctor confesses that he believes in witches, but is unable to name one. Proctor is introduced to local reverend John Hale and his wife, Elizabeth, who have come to Salem Village to investigate a series of supernatural occurrences in the village of young girls being possessed by the devil. Hale wants the young girls to confess their “witchcraft,” which they do, and then are sentenced to be hanged. Proctor later sees much of the activity he is a witness of as mass hysteria, and some of the accusers start to realize that they are torturing innocent people, even believing they are “creating the devil” by accusing him of witchcraft. John Proctor’s character has many important relationships with other characters in The Crucible, including his wife Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams, Judge Danforth, and Deputy Governor Danforth, who both represent each person’s view about Proctor’s character. John Proctor is also a man with a dark past who is struggling to find redemption.

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