A device commonly used in literary works is the dynamic character. A dynamic character is a character who's views and opinions change due to certain events that take place in the piece of writing. In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a play about the odd series of events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials, several dynamic characters become apparent. The main character and one of the most obvious dynamic characters is John Proctor. Throughout the play, John Proctor's behavior towards others in the town begins to evolve due to the outlandish accusations and hysteria that ensues.
John Proctor, the hot-tempered, strong-bodied farmer, first enters Miller's play as the sinner, weakened by his past desire for Abigail Williams. As the play introduces other members of the town and the discussion leads to the witch trials, Proctor's feelings towards the town are expressed. He is frustrated with Reverend Parris and the Salem church because of the materialistic messages that drive Parris" sermons. Proctor feels that Parris speaks "so long on deeds and mortgages [that he] thought it were an auction" (Act I, 30). In addition, he expresses his contempt for the Salem authority which has become increasing strict in the small Massachusetts village. .
As Act II opens, Proctor's wife, Elizabeth Proctor, is introduced, bringing about another aspect of Proctor's personality. Elizabeth and Proctor discuss the accusations that have surfaced, blaming local women of witchcraft. Elizabeth pleads with Proctor to reveal to the courts a conversation he had with Abigail in which Abigail confessed .
that the indictments were false. When Proctor refuses to present the information in court, Elizabeth questions his faithfulness to her. Proctor's ill temper presents itself again as he proclaims that he will "plead [his] honesty no more" (Act II, 55). Soon, however, a visit from Reverend Hale and an arrest warrant issued for Elizabeth will drastically end all of Proctor's frustrations towards his wife.