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john proctor

            How does Miller present and develop John Proctor's character in the first two acts of 'The Crucible'?.
             At the start of the play Arthur miller tells us how john views himself as a sinner against moral fashion at the time and in his own vision of decent conduct because of his affair with Abigail. The guilt he feels is shown when he says 'I will cut of my hand before I reach for you again' in Act one to Abigail when she tries to convince him of her love. By John saying that it makes him sound like a criminal who is stating his own punishment. Arthur Miller here is telling us that John is guilty about his past actions and will punish himself before he repeats it. In the middle of Act two John openly declares his guilt to Elizabeth. He tries to make her understand that he is sorry and that she should not judge him. She is right though, when she says it is john who is the harshest judge. His guilty conscience is once again highlighted towards the end of act two when he passionately says ' that goodness will not die for me' (His wife, Elizabeth). Here Arthur miller shows us that in John's eyes he is the sinner and Elizabeth represents all things good.
             In Act one we see that John still has feelings for Abigail. We pick up on these feelings when he meets her at the start, he gives her a 'knowing' smile, tells her he thinks of her softly from time to time and confirms with her that he sometimes stands outside her window at night. However he also still has feelings for his wife, Arthur Miller shows us this when he shouts at Abigail for being rude about his wife and then threatens to whip her if she doesn't stop. Throughout acts one and two we see that his feelings for Abigail and Elizabeth both change. When he is at home with Elizabeth his is caring, gentle when he speaks to her and kisses her to try and make things better between them. We can see that he still loves his wife but then when she tries to persuade him to go to Salem to betray Abigail he is reluctant, showing that he has feelings for Abigail and then gets angry when she brings out his feelings in the open.

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