Arthur Miller creates sympathy for John proctor in a number of different and effective ways. The way I feel was the most effective, was the way Arthur changes our impression of proctor during the play. As in, in the first act proctor says “Abbey I never give you hope to wait for me”. This was the first time the audience find out that proctor; a seemingly ordinary family man has actually been involved in an affair, further on in the play the audience realise that proctor has learn his lesson when he says this quote “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint it is a fraud, I am not that man”.
This shows the audience that proctor feels guilty and ashamed of his affair with Abigail; this also shows us he feels he is not honest by saying “it is fraud” and how he cannot be hung like a saint. How Rebecca Nurse, Mary and many others got hung for being accused for something they never did. I think and I strongly feel proctor was not and is trying not be a hypocrite which a very good and loyal man to me as he respects his word and sticks to it. In addition, another way in which Arthur miller creates sympathy for proctor is when proctor says this line “Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, Abigail?
Is the accuser always holy now? ” By proctor saying this it is as though saying what is on the readers mind, as in we know right from act one that the girls are lying and the audience feel angry, what with all the accusation. So by proctor saying this the audience feel almost relived in a way. The audience feel as though proctor is the only brave character that is strong enough to speak the truth. In contrast to how proctor lied to Elizabeth when she asked him if you were with someone when he actually was with Abigail.
Proctor feeling embarrassed and guilty says “Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer! ” proctor feels as though Elizabeth will never trust him again. When he says “freeze” he almost is saying that Elizabeth is cold- heated. But can you really expect Elizabeth to forget such a big affair, especially when it was going on in your own house? I feel and I think the audience felt that by proctor saying this he came across as a bit selfish, despite this later on in the play/book we find out that proctor becomes a loyal.
In the final scene, it made the audience feel tremendously sympathetic towards proctor. The stage directions in the last scene make the last scene so powerful. “(Proctor, with a cry of his whole soul) 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 the dust on to feet of those who hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! ” The stage directions used at the end really are intense and very emotional, because proctor is a dying man and these are one of his last words.
So in other words proctor is pleading for his life. I feel that this was a very good technique as the audience were very sympathetic towards proctor by contrast to the way the audience felt about proctor in Act one in his affair with Abigail. (ELIZABETH, in a burst of terror, rushes to him and weeps against his hand). This stage direction makes the audience feel sad, emotional and makes the audience want to cry because of the powerful stage directions use. I feel that the stage directions used were very effective and emotional.