Essay on John Proctor ("The Crucible"):.
There are many figures throughout history and in literature who have sacrificed their lives for a .
principle. They believed so passionately in an idea that they were willing to make the ultimate .
sacrifice, their lives, for it. For example, William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who led a .
rebellion against King Edward I of England, would not repent even as he was professionally tortured, .
but he instead cried out for freedom for the Scots. For William Wallace, as with John Proctor in .
Arthur Miller's play The Crucible , a choice was made. Both men had an opportunity to save .
themselves, but chose instead to die for their beliefs. John Proctor makes the decision to tear up his .
confession and doom himself when Reverend Danforth asks him, "Is that document a lie?" (886) because .
he realizes that honesty is more important to him. .
The definitive Greek tragic hero is well-born with a tragic flaw which ultimately leads to his .
downfall. John Proctor and William Wallace are not classic tragic heroes. Neither man was of noble .
birth; they were not saintly men, and both committed their share of sins. Proctor says of his .
soul, "Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotton long before" (883). Wallace .
believed in freedom and Proctor believed in honesty enough to die for it, however. They were not .
controlled by fate, as the traditional Greek tragic heroes were; they were in charge of their .
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller shows us in the character of John Proctor that ordinary people can .
be tragic heroes. Proctor's "tragic flaw" is his commitment to honesty. Although he is somewhat .
reluctant, he stands up for the truth even at the risk of exposing his adulterous affair. He .
says, "I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name." (873). By attempting .
to expose Abigail as a fraud, he risks his reputation and is shamed before the town when his .