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At the end of the play, Reverend hale insists that John Proctor”s desire to hang instead of admitting that he was consorting with the devil is an act of excessive pride or stubbornness. Proctor’s self-sacrifice is not more than a petulant act of excessive pride.
John Proctor is the protagonist of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. He was persistent, honest, and full of integrity. At the end of the play Reverend Hale insists that Proctor”s self sacrifice is not more than a petulant act of excessive pride. He was simply a man with pride, not excessive pride.
From the beginning we learn John has had an affair with his young servant Abigail Williams. John confesses to his wife but initially decides not to confess to anyone else, in fear of ruining his good name and reputation. After the affair, Abigail became horribly jealous of Elizabeth Proctor. Proctor realizes there is only one way to stop all the witch hysteria in Salem, and that would be to confess his sin of adultery
In the beginning John insists continually that Reverend Parris is only speaking of hell, and hardly ever of God, as Proctor goes on to say to Reverend Parris, “Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!” “I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore.” This shows how Proctor is not afraid to speak his mind even to someone of such high standing in his community.
At the end of the play Proctor is persistent by saying that no matter what anyone says to convince him differently, he would rather die an honest man and save his name than to lie. John realizes that he must confess his sin of adultery to the courts, only to stop the frenzy in Salem. After he confesses, he encourages his wife to do the same, “Elizabeth, tell the truth! Elizabeth, I have confessed it!” He confesses his sin, and speaks those words, only because he is looking out for the good of the community, and others around him. He hates that his name is tarnished, but feels that God will forgive him for it.
Proctor is given the chance to confess that he is guilty of witchery. The courts want him to sign a legal statement of his actions, to post on the church doors. The court feels that if the community sees that an honest man confessed, they will feel that it’s all right to confess also. Of course John refuses to sign. He knows that a false admission would not only dishonour him, but also stain what was left of his public reputation and his soul.
His pride is apparent when he refuses to give up everything he stands for to sign the legal document, and to falsely give up names of other members of his community. Proctor realizes that if he gives the names of innocent citizens they will be hanged. So instead he believes he has no choice and dies for the good of his name and community. Proctor respects and stands up for his fellow neighbours.
John Proctor died for his name, his community and his pride. He possessed the qualities of persistency, honesty, and integrity. His stance on his final choice was not misguided or as Reverend Hale insists a petulant act of excessive pride but that of a proud man who stood by his morals.