Everybody has come across someone who at first seemed like a nice, genuine person, but as secrets from the past come out, opinions change about that person. In the play written by Arthur Miller, The Crucible, John Proctor is a well respected farmer. John is hiding his secrets from his past to protect his reputation throughout the town. John Proctor’s main traits are that he is brave, extreme and dignified. Bravery is a trait that suits John Proctor well. When Proctor tried to convince everyone that the girls were lying, this was an instance of bravery because children were thought of as the vice of god and they were free of sin. Proctor also fought the court trying to keep them from convicting his spouse even though nobody else would dare to do. John says in court, “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children and jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!
This warrants vengeance! I’ll not give my wife to vengeance!” Another quality that made him brave was when he confessed to the court that he had an affair with Abigail just to save his life. John says, “I have known her sir, I have known her.” John Proctor being brave is obvious but he can also be very extreme at some times. An instance of Proctor’s extremity was when he shouted, “I say – I say – God is dead!” and that he will see all of them burn in hell. That statement implied to the court that Proctor worshipped the Devil and committed perjury. When Proctor tore the warrant issued for the arrest of Elizabeth, it showed his ability to defy the court and in a way his religion because the court was controlled by religion. Keeping Mary Warren from court was extreme because he was keeping her from doing her duty and from feeling important for the first time.
Even if one is brave or extreme, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be dignified too. Proctor acted dignified when he tries to please his wife in every way after he admitted to having an affair with Abigail. He did this by doing what she said and not complaining and acting nice and calm. He also exhibits dignity when he signs the confession and then later tears it up. This showed that he cared more about his belief and his name than he did about his life. By not buckling under pressure, Proctor was able to refuse to give into Danforth’s and Abigail’s power of persuasion, which showed a great deal of dignity. John Proctor is a character who seemed like a nice, honest man. But, as his secrets were revealed, we noticed he was a man with a past that he could not erase. John was hung for his crime, rather than destroying his name by the towns people knowing him for his crime.