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    Examine how the character of Proctor changes throughout the play Essay

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    At the beginning we do not get the full profile of Proctor, but by the end of Act One his character does become clearer to the reader. Proctor is a very short-tempered person, and has power over many women. This is shown by the following quote “I’ll show you a great do in on your arse one of these days. ” He says this to Mary-a young servant girl. This obviously shows how over powering John Proctor can be to women. I think that Proctor is short tempered because he feels that he has to show others that he is powerful, so he does this by using threats, especially to woman, but in those times this was appropriate.

    During winter, when his wife Elizabeth Procter was sick, Proctor had an affair with his servant Abigail Williams, Parris’s niece. Abigail fell in love with John’s strengths and honesty. Even though Proctor seems to put his actions in the past; Abigail has always thought that it meant something more. This is shown when she says “I look for John Proctor, that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart” This obviously shows that Abigail still loves him. This is also why she hates Elizabeth, as she has Proctor and Abigail wants him.

    I believe that the reason for Abigail wanting Proctor back is because she feels as though he treats her more like an adult. I think that Procter had this affair because he had no attention from Elizabeth and he turned to Abigail for her adoration and affection. This affair with Abigail has affected Proctor, as it is his weakness. When John is left alone with Abigail she tries to revive the affair. He rejects her, and this annoys her to a great extent. The reason of why Proctor does not want the affair to be publicised is because he is worried about being seen negatively in the society.

    Elizabeth blames herself for the affair that took place between Proctor and Abigail and tells Proctor when she says “I never knew how I should say my love. It was a cold house I kept! ” I presume that Elizabeth blames herself because she feels that if she had expressed her love to John. Then he wouldn’t have gone to Abigail for the attention that he actually needed from Elizabeth. During Act Two Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft by Abigail. This is the time where Proctor wants to save his wife but his source of information is his word against Abigail’s word, as he was alone with her.

    Proctor informs his wife, but things do not go as planned. Elizabeth is incredibly suspicious and Procter gets extremely angry. We can clearly see Proctor’s anger when he says ” No more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. But I wilted, and like a Christian, I confessed. ” This shows that Proctor’s intentions of this conversation with Abigail were different to what his wife thinks. I believe that Elizabeth has her suspicions about the conversation because of the affair that Proctor had with Abigail.

    As the time comes for Elizabeth to go to court, I feel that Proctor finds out that Elizabeth is an important person in his life. To show Elizabeth his feelings Proctor gets involved in the court. Whereas before Proctor didn’t even want Mary Warren, his current servant to be involved in the court telling her “You will not go in to court Mary Warren” I believe that this plays a great role in his change of character because Proctor wants to stop the trials as his wife is in court. Before going ahead with saving his wife, Proctor shows his feelings towards the trials.

    This is when Hale comes to visit Elizabeth and Proctor gives him the following speech “Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now?… I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem… I’ll not give my wife to vengeance. ” When Proctor says this he is extremely angry. I think that through his anger he shows his consideration and his interest of saving his wife and making his feelings more visible and vivid. I believe that Proctor wants to stop the trials and wants to speak up for his wife, to show Elizabeth that she is of great importance to him.

    However I think that Proctor sees the situation far more clearly than the others in Salem This is partly because he was once involved with Abigail, and as Abigail is in connection with witchcraft, he does seem to know what Abigail’s intentions are. Proctor feels that Abigail is trying to kill his wife out of jealousy. As the play progresses in the court, Proctor becomes more open, as there comes a point where he has to confess about his affair with Abigail. The start of his confession is shown by the following quote “I have known her Sir, I have known her.

    ” For Proctor to confess this in front of the court was truly hard, as he found confessing to Elizabeth difficult. When this was in the open, Danforth does start to have his suspicions about Abigail and her accusation of witchcraft on Elizabeth. However Proctor feels that his confession is now the most effective source of information to save his wife. After his confession, Danforth wanted proof, and this relied on Elizabeth’s answer, but things go wrong, as she was not informed that he had confessed. Elizabeth lied for the first time, in attempt to save Proctor.

    After the confession, Proctor’s attitude changes towards Abigail. This is shown when he calls her a “whore”in court. Proctor shows that he is angry with Abigail and her actions. In the middle of the play Proctor seems to be broken into pieces. He is in his own “Crucible. ” His wife is in court accused of witchcraft and he only has his children and Mary Warren. He seems powerless now that he has influenced the court. After getting Mary Warren to give evidence, she betrays him. “My name, he want my name. I murder you he says if my wife hangs!

    We must go and over throw the court he says! ” Mary tries to put Proctor in the frame and she does succeed. She tries telling people that he is the man in contact with the devil. Mary tries to convince the people into believing that he treats women badly. At the end Proctor is persuaded to confess to having contact with the Devil, but Proctor denies it. This is because he wants to keep his name in the clear. His strong feelings at this point are shown by the following quote “I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.

    ” This obviously shows that Proctor does feel that he is a good person and wants to keep his reputation. He doesn’t want friends and family to think badly of him. Proctor believes that he should not give is name to something that is not true to him Due to his strong beliefs and gaining confidence in himself, he decides that the only way to keep his name and his beliefs is to give his soul. This is illustrated by the following quote “How may I live without my name?

    I have given you my soul leave me my name” This shows that he is willing to give up his life but wants to keep his name from having a bad status. I find it interesting the way in which Arthur Miller does not consider Proctor of being a main character at the beginning of the play. However by the end Miller makes Proctor the hero of the play. At the beginning of the play the main attention is on Abigail and the girls who were involved in witchcraft, but by the end the main focus is on Proctor as he is seen as one of the main suspects.

    This makes him gain a higher status in the play. Proctor’s character cannot be put into a certain category. This is because his character is always changing. I presume that the “Crucible” is a metaphor of a heated cauldron. It seems as if Arthur Miller has put every character into their own cauldron, by having their own tough and heated situation. Proctor comes out of his crucible as a strong believer in his religion, and more considerate towards others. Proctor wanted to prove this, and he does so by sacrificing his life.

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