Most great novels and dramas have dynamic characters as the protagonists. A dynamic character is one who is modified by the actions through which he or she passes and the consequences he or she experiences. In The Crucible, John Proctor and John Hale are the protagonists.
John Proctor is a farmer and a village commoner who similarly is faced with an inner turmoil. Proctor has committed the crime of adultery. He has absolutely no intentions of joining in the witch trials unless his pregnant wife has been involved. After his wife becomes involved and eventually set free due to the fact that she was pregnant, John Proctor feels that he cannot accept this. Proctor is a good and noble man and because of this he believes at first he cannot be hung and die a martyr when he has a sin blooming over him at every moment. John later says to Elizabeth that "my honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing is spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before" (136). As John confesses, he cannot allow Danforth to make it officially documented. John feels strongly about having a good name and not dying with a bad one. Proctor weighs both sides of his internal conflict and realizes that he must not make another mistake. He therefore, prescribes himself to death, not for his own sake, but rather for the sake of others. As John dies Elizabeth weeps saying "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it away" (145).
John Proctor is the central character in the play. His tragedy is the most significant, for it emerges from a flaw deep within himself and is resolved by his own actions. Unlike Rebecca Nurse, who is almost a stereotype in her complete goodness, Proctor is morally compromised and must openly struggle to do well.
Although he is outspoken and blunt in his skepticism of witchcraft and his denunciation of Reverend Parris" greed and the corruption of the church, he initially chooses to downplay the significance of Abigail's accusations.