When reading The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, by no means is John Proctor typically considered a tragic hero. However, upon a closer and more exact scrutiny of the text it can be found that, surprisingly enough, John Proctor has most of the classic attributes of a tragic hero. Such an attributes include having a tragic flaw, undergoing a reversal of fate, and in the end recognizing their flaw. All of these characteristics are clearly displayed in Proctor throughout the play.
Although for the most part Proctor was a good, upstanding citizen of Salem, his one flaw was Abigail. His unspoken affair left his marriage cold and Abigail's heart hot with passion. However, like most tragic characters, Proctor overcomes his flaw and confesses to his wife and allows Abigail to be sent away.
Proctors reversal of fate can not be understood without first understanding the situations he was in before and after the event. Before, Proctor was a well thought of and prominent member of Salem's society. However, when John tries to protect his wife, Abigail turns the tables and John is left convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to execution.
As Proctor sits in jail he is given plenty of time to contemplate his life, his transgresses and most of all, his character. Proctor recognizes his fatal flaw and is faced with guilt throughout the story, however, it was not until that he was faced with death before he could forgive himself. Common sense might lead you to believe that forgiving himself would be too live, but death was a reward he had previously felt he did not deserve. His self-forgiveness allows him this option and he graciously accepts it.
With a little extra delving into the story, Proctor can easily fit all three requirements. He has a tragic flaw, he experiences a reversal of fate, and in the end the end he overcomes his flaw. Due to the unapparentness of these attributes Procter makes quite the original tragic hero, but a tragic hero nonetheless.