The course of the play Essay
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At the beginning of the play we see Proctor With Abigail talking and their talk indicates that he has had a sexual affair with her. “I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near! ” From this we see that john proctor is may not be as good and as pure as the village think him to be. However his wife Elizabeth certainly knows john is not an entirely good man at this point.
There are other indications that john is not a good man in the entire scene other people see him to be.
John lies about his reunion with Abigail to Elizabeth he says that she and he were together with people, but when it comes to reality he has to confess he was with her alone again. John proctors other major fault is his selfishness. John Proctor a farmer and village commoner is faced with an inner turmoil. He has committed adultery and had absolutely no intentions of joining in the witch trials unless his pregnant wife was to also get involved.
So instead of telling the authorities at the beginning of Abigail’s silly antics he leaves it alone and it’s only really when his own wife is charged he really gets involved. He is worried that Abigail will expose him for the letch he is. Would john proctor have got involved and exposed Abigail if his wife had not been arrested? We also know that proctor is not a devout Christian; he does not attend church regularly “Twenty-six time in seventeen month, sir I must call that rare”. He does not know all his commandments either.
Proctor ironically forgets “thou shalt not commit adultery” Elizabeth has to remind him “Adultery, John”. Presenting this we can assume that proctor only appears to be a good man and has no real essential goodness. However in contrast to that there is a side of proctor, which certainly emulates goodness. John shows his good side as a Christian by helping build the church and mend the church roof. “I nailed the roof upon the church, I hung the door-“. Also as we know that John proctor forgot one commandment, he did remember nine of them.
This does signify a good man in a number of respects, he should have ideally known all ten but John has many other things on his mind his land and animals for example. John proves his goodness also by acting loyal to his wife, even though in the past Proctor has betrayed her and hurt her his affection for her and his protectiveness evades all others. John also tries to do the right thing for his fellow villagers, he tries to petition for them to be released but to no avail. John does not want to see innocent people die in from of him and later with him, all because of some silly children.
John does try to do the right thing but usually battles within himself o decide these things. Johns final struggle is in act four when he has to chose whether or not he wants his confession published. He has to chose whether to die a martyr or live with the fact that he will have his name slandered. John knows that he has done wrongs through his life and does not want to die with the sins he wasts them absolved by God and perhaps more importantly his wife. He has committed adultery and hefeels that he can’t accept this.
Proctor is a good and noble man and because of this he believes at first he can’t be hanged and die a martyr when he has this sin blooming over him every waking moment. John later says to Elizabeth that ” My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing’s spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before” and rather confess then die for something he flat out didn’t do. However, as John confesses, he cannot allow Danforth to make it officially documented. As Danforth asks him why John answers with a cry ” because it is my name.
Because I cannot have another in my life . . . How may I live without my name? Have given you my soul; . Proctor wants forgivness from his wife and only after this does he feel he has accomplished this. It is this realisation that convinces Proctor. No longer guilty, freed from this by his wife, he realises there is “some shred of goodness in John Proctor. ” Proctor weighs both sides of his internal conflict and realizes that he must not make another mistake. He therefore, prescribes himself to death, not for his own sake, but rather for the sake of the others.
As John dies Liz weeps saying ” He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it away”. leave me my name. John feels strongly about having a good name and not dying with a bad one. The choice John Proctor must make is between saving either himself or society. His failure to do good initially allows events to get out of hand and eventually forces him into a position where he must make a choice. Miller suggests that in such times good can only triumph through a sacrifice upon the altar of society, that the crisis might only be able to be rectified by the death of those who struggle to uphold society’s values.
The death of John Proctor, though it might seem a tragic waste, is necessary, both for his own personal redemption and that of his society. John now goes willingly to his death. He is a man triumphant over his foes, willing to die. 955 Words Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.