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John procter: tragic hero

             What is a tragic hero? The most well known definition of a tragic hero comes from the great philosopher Aristotle. When depicting a tragic hero, Aristotle states "The change in the hero's fortunes is not from misery to happiness, but on the contrary, from happiness to misery, and the cause of it must not lie in any depravity but in some great error on his part." In addition, he explains the four essential qualities that a tragic hero should possess, which are goodness, appropriateness, lifelike, and consistency. All of these qualities apply to the character of John Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Not only does he unfortunately fall to misery, he also captures the sympathy and pity from the audience or readers. Proctor's downfall in the play is initiated by a human flaw, which to a great extent qualifies him to be the tragic hero. .
             Although Aristotle's tragic hero would be a character in a high social or political standing, Arthur Miller portrays John Proctor as a common farmer with a wife and three children who is honest and living a respectable life in a Puritan town. However, as the play opens, the audience or readers discovers that Proctor has a significant secret, his affair with a young girl named Abigail Williams. Abigail, who doesn't want to believe that it is over between her and John, tries to kill Elizabeth Proctor by engaging in witchcraft with a few other girls in the town. As the town uncovers the antics of the girls and the people are outraged, the girls begin to cry out names of others they have supposedly seen with the devil in order to save themselves. This is expressed when the girls are almost caught in their lie, "I saw Sarah Good with the devil! I saw Goody Osborne with the devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the devil!" Abigail cries out. Therefore, the audience perceives that the affair between John and Abigail is the instigator of all the hysteria surrounding the witch trials, signifying the consequences of a small human error.

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