Tragic Hero in The Crucible Essay

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Tragic Hero in The Crucible

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 be not from misery to happiness, but on the contrary, from happiness to misery, and the cause of it must not lie in any wickedness 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 necessities help to classify the character of John Proctor as the tragic hero of the play. Not only does he unfortunately fall to desolation, but also his character captures
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‘(With a cry of his whole soul) Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies, because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang. How may
I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!’

This quotation from the play shows us Proctors integrity and dignity.
This is an essential part of Proctors personality, as we will discover throughout this essay. Perhaps to a fault, his pride is sometimes too great…? Miller’s narrative at the opening of the Act1 introduces the protagonist (main character) of the play as John Proctor. ‘John
Proctor is a strong and virtuous farmer in his middle thirties, he was a kind of man-powerful body, even tempered, and not easily led.
Proctor is a down to earth man who speaks his mind and has a deep sense of pride in himself.’ However, we learn that Proctor regards himself as a sinner and for this reason he is not perfect. Miller creates Proctor like this so the audience view him as the ‘everyman’
(he could be any one of us). The audience are more likely to empathise with Proctor for this reason. These small details that Miller gives us, are very useful to help us understand Proctor all the more clearly. (His
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