Is John Proctor a Good Man

Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, is set in the small American Town of Salem. One of the main character’s is John Proctor, husband to Elizabeth Proctor and a feared, though respected member of this “New Jerusalem’s” community. John Proctor is a man who has some flaws, but also many good points to his personality. Various characters throughout the play highlight these differing aspects of Proctor’s personality. Proctor also presents various personality traits as the play progresses, but however at the end he emerges as a strong character who is essentially “good” and who is forgiven and forgives himself for his adultery with Abigail William’s. Proctor’s physical description encourages us to see him in a particular way. In the play he is described as, “the kind of man-powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led”. Though Proctor is physically strong, it is soon apparent that his weakness comes from his relationship with Abigail. Not only did he commit adultery, which was and still is seen as immoral in a very religious community, but he also took advantage of a servant in his employ and abused the trust given him as an employer as well as the trust of his wife. This adulterous event is a pivotal issue in Proctor’s attitude towards himself and in the readers attitude towards him, “He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct”. Proctor feels guilty about his relationship with Abigail when he is visited by Hale and asked about his commitment to the church and his knowledge of the ten commandments. Proctor inadvertently forgets one commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Proctor: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”, Hale: “You have said that twice, sir”, Elizabeth: “Adultery, John”. Proctor accounts for his lack of attendance at church in Act 1 by proclaiming that he will not listen to the “hellfire and bloody damnation”, preached by Parris. In Act 2 he states, “I…

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