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Essay The Importance of Principles in The Crucible

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In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, the character John Proctor will not lie and confess to something he did not do. Thus, he is hanged for his principles. Proctor has two main principles he felt were more important to respect and uphold than his own life. The most obvious one was his reputation. In theocratic Salem, where private and public ethics are regarded equally, one’s reputation plays an important role. In such an environment where reputation is regarded so highly many are afraid of guilt by association. Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their own reputations, in order to keep them in the best light possible. Towards the beginning of the play, John Proctor sought to keep his good name…show more content…
His refusal to give up his false signed confession and even going so far as to rip it to shreds, is a religious stand, but also a personal stand as well. Such a confession would dishonor his fellow convicted friends, such as Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse, who were also brave enough to die as a testimony to the truth rather than satisfy the court with a false confession. Not to mention a false confession would also dishonor him, not just staining public reputation, but also his very essence. Proctor, without reservation, proclaims that the integrity he is showing will convince God to allow him into heaven. Thus when he goes to the gallows to be hanged, he has no fear of death, believing he will be forgiven for previous sins. After Hale begs Elizabeth to continue with trying to convince John to sign the confession, she responds, “He have his goodness now,” and coldly finishes the play with, “God forbid I take it from him!” She realizes that John is now at peace with himself for the sins he committed in the past and feels that he needs to go through with this to get back his goodness and honesty, lost during his affair with Abigail. It is my opinion that, yes, John’s principles were worth dying for. In Salem Village, an individual’s reputation plays an important role due to the fact
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