The Crucible. Comparison of Characters Essay
John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse are important characters in the play of the crucible by Arthur Miller. There are important similarities in their characters which will be compared and contrasted in the following paragraphs. John Proctor is a well respected farmer who works hard for the living of his family. He provides a home and food for his wife Elizabeth and his three children. He is well respected for being honest, a truthful Christian and of good morals. Rebecca Nurse is the wife of Francis Nurse and mother of 11 children. Her husband Francis Nurse, is an unofficial judge.
She is respected throughout in the community for her moral, truthful and honest character. In comparison, both Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor are very respected people in their society (as can be seen from the above two paragraphs), who found themselves as victims of the witch-craft accusations. This tested their honesty and their response to the accusations was what showed their differences (further explained in the 7th paragraph). The town’s people’s perception of John Proctor’s and Rebecca Nurse’s characters is of a similar standing.
Both portray themselves as good, honest, and God-fearing people. Although John Proctor doesn’t attend church and Rebecca Nurse does, John Proctor is still considered to be a God-fearing man in accordance to the principle of the Ten Commandments. One of John Proctor’s strength is in his manliness which adds to the perception of a strong and truthful character. This manliness (strength),can be contrasted to the strength of Rebecca Nurse not physically, but strength in Character as of goodness, caring and truth.
This aspect of Rebecca Nurse could be seen especially towards the end of the play where she was not even moved by pressures in telling the truth at the expense of her life instead, she tried to convince John proctor to tell the truth: “REBECCA: Why, it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself? I cannot, I cannot…(to Proctor) Oh John God send his mercy on you”. Despite John Proctor’s and Rebecca Nurse’s similarity in honesty, I think there was a big difference in the levels at which they exhibited this attribute.
While Rebecca Nurse did not seem to be moved by the pressures of diverting from the truth, John Proctor faced a big challenge in telling the truth about his standing with witch-craft. This could be seen towards the end of the play and I quote: ‘’PROCTOR: 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 my name! ” Whereas Rebecca Nurse was above reproach in her everyday life, John Proctor wasn’t.
He had an affair with 17 year-old Abigail Williams. This also shows the differences in the strength of goodness shown by both characters. At the end of the play, both Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor died. This is because they refused to accept the witch-craft accusations made against them although John Proctor took some time before he actually settled for the truth. In conclusion, It appears that the contrasting and comparing of Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor centre around their character strength . This I hope has been done in the above paragraphs