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The execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible

I read it approximate 18 months ago and I was really impressed when I first read it, not only because the story of John Proctor and his way to the gallows is heart-rending, but it is also amazing how a girl of seventeen can provoke such things as these witch-hunts.

I want to go into greater detail about John Proctor, because he is the person the story is really about and he is a very impressive man, he is the character you empathize with when you read the play. His daughter Betty cannot wake up and he is very worried about it, because he caught her and a few other the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible from Salem dancing in the woods around a kettle. But as we know from the conversations between Abigail with Parris and Abigail with John Proctor, the dancing had nothing to do with witchcraft.

But Parris has already called for Reverend Hale of Beverly, who is known to have special knowledge about witchcraft. Among these girls there is Mary Warren, who is the Proctors' maidservant, and she knows that the whole situation has nothing to do with witchcraft. John and Rebecca Nurse, a respected woman in Salem, are the only persons in town who do not believe in witchcraft.

Proctor, however, wants to stop this horror scenario and convinces The execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible to go to the court and tell the truth. He himself is willing to admit his adultery to show Abigail that she has no chance to renew their relationship. In the next three months there are several hangings but by now nearly everyone in- and outside Salem knows that the witch-trials were wrong, even Abigail has run away so that they cannot blame her for the terrible events in Salem.

After that Hale comes back to Salem to convince Proctor and other people in jail to confess, because otherwise the judges will have to sentence them to death just like the people who have been hanged already. After Proctor has agreed to sign his confession, he sees that in this way the judges just want to use his good name and influence to save their own skins. He is a farmer in his mid- thirties, he is married to Elizabeth Proctor and the father of three sons.

He is a very direct person and because of his behaviour to other people he is respected and even partly feared in town. He tells people the truth into their faces whether they want to hear it or not, even if there are other people around. This behaviour is based on his deep honesty towards himself and every other person. But if this is not the case, you discover it immediately because he leaves no doubt about it. By acting like this he has made some enemies in Salem.

Proctor had noticed that Parris was not only interested in the well-being of his parish but the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible much more in his material wealth and his reputation in the community.

He is not convinced that people should do what the priest tells them without thinking the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible it. But he is not the only one, who is not happy with Reverend Parris, and Parris complaines that: Religion and society have surely left their mark on John Proctor, but his mind is free and so he lets himself get involved in discussions with Parris or Putnam, for example, and that is also a reason why he got into the mess with Abigail.

A strictly religiously living man would possibly not have made this mistake, but John has certainly had a more interesting the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible than the average citizen of Salem. He is a man with a temper and is willing to use the whip when you deserve it, but you can say he is full of goodness. He is very generous, helps his neighbours and is an attractive man, powerful of body and well-built.

His appearance and passionate nature make him such an attractive person for women. He loves his wife Elizabeth so much that he even tells her about the affair with Abigail, but he is also disgusted with himself. He is ashamed that he lay his hands on Abigail, and this affair has ruined his inner peace. Ever since then he has had a difficult relationship with his wife and he lives in an endless conflict with himself; he wants to be the man he was before, but he thinks he is a fraud.

The affair with Abigail happened when Elizabeth was ill and Proctor looked for some warmth in his house, so things developed to the inevitable end. He wants to know what is wrong with Betty because the town is murmuring witchcraft. She longs for him, which we see from her behaviour: At this moment we can only assume that she the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible him, but we do not know anything about his feelings for her.

That is the evidence that they had an affair and we also see that John does not want to continue the relationship. After he had confessed it to Elizabeth, she dismissed her from her service and because she did not want to tell the people in Salem that the reason was the affair between John and Abigail, she said that Abigail had dissatisfied her, that she was lazy and things like that, so her name was not spotless in town any more.

Consequently Abigail was angry with Elizabeth and wanted to make life difficult for her whenever she could. And for a man in his situation it is quite understandable because Abigail is an attractive young woman and his wife Elizabeth has been cold and bitter since she got to know about the affair.

Elizabeth is a person who is able to hide her feelings, she does not show any warmth to Proctor, she still cooks and cares for the household, but they do not live together as the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible married couple or as lovers, they just live in the same house. He does not want to hurt her and maybe if he were not married with Elizabeth, he would take Abigail as his lover, so maybe he wants to keep on being on good terms with her. His wife Elizabeth rejects him because she is very disappointed in him as a husband, she does not trust him any more.

But she truly loves him, she does not tell other people in town about it and in the end we see how she acts against her own strict code of always saying the truth. But if she had always shown him how much she loved him, he probably would not have approached Abigail.

So maybe she also feels responisble for his adultery and now she punishes herself, too by punishing him with her coldness. So she accuses Elizabeth of sending her spirits out on her because she wants to get rid of her. When the witch-hunters knock on their door, John and Elizabeth have to support each other and in this situation they start to have a conversation about his infidelity. Elizabeth blames him for still longing for Abigail: When Cheever comes to take Elizabeth to jail, The execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible and Elizabeth forget all their problems and defend each other when they are accused of being not a Christian family that believes the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible prayer; they also are reproached that they rarely go to church and that John ploughs on Sunday.

This is the first time that John gets to know that there are trials in Salem, because he knows the truth and could not imagine that Abigail had not told the truth.

Obviously Abigail is very unscrupulous, she even is willing to hurt herself in order to harm somebody else. But it shows, too how much she loves John and what he really means to her. As we know she is just seventeen and so we can assume that she had her first sexual experience with him. That is also of importance when we judge her for making such efforts to get him. He becomes angry and shouts at Hale: He convinces Mary to go to the court and tell the truth and he himself wants to tell the court about his adultery so that the judges see that Abigail is not so innocent as she seems.

And so he wants to show Abigail that she has no chance to renew their affair. Maybe he also wants to tell the court about it to rid himself from his bad conscience, because he knows he will be sentenced and punished for it. Here we see that she really loves him because she even acts against her own nature.

But in this case she does it, and now it looks as if he is the liar. Abigail is asked about it, she and the other girls start a scene the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible and say Mary has bewitched them, so she does not have to answer the accusations, which is very clever of her. This is a character-trait we have known from the beginning of the play, she does everthing to aviod trouble even if it means to harm others.

So he is arrested.

How did John Proctor's death help to illuminate the meaning of the work?

Three months later we see Proctor and Elizabeth in his cell, they discuss whether he should confess, because that would save his life. There we see how much they mean to each other, how deep their love is. She promises to support him in his decision - no matter what it is - and so he decides to confess because he is convinced that he is already a fraud, and he has no qualms to lie to the court in order to save his life.

When the judges question him, they want him to sign a confession, but he does not want to do so, because then they would use his good name to justify the death-sentences. I have given you my soul; leave me my name! This is the prerequisite for the development in Salem.

The very first time Proctor gets to know that there are witchcraft-trials in Salem is when he comes home the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible the fields one day and has a conversation with Elizabeth about Mary, their servant. He does not know what the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible she is talking about and cannot believe what his wife tells him about the events in Salem. He knows that the girls, who have behaved strangely since that ominous night, were not bewitched, but they just had a shock because they were discovered dancing in the woods.

He knows that from Abigail, who told him about it when they were alone. He wonders if the people in town will believe him because they do not doubt Abigail. After his wife has accused him that he hesitates because he still longs for Abigail, he decides to go to the court to tell his story.

Proctor is the first to make him think that the prisoners have only confessed to save themselves from being hanged, but Hale still believes that this is a case of witchcraft.

Miller, Arthur - The Crucible - The role of John Proctor

In this conversation he says that Elizabeth was mentioned in the courtroom and soon the witch-hunters arrive and take her to jail. Proctor goes to the court with Mary and when she finally tells the truth, Abigail denies it of course.

Proctor wants to help Mary, calls Abigail a whore and admits his adultery. It looks as if he is the liar, but from this moment on Hale believes Proctor and sees what is really going on in this court.

When Abigail is asked about it, she and the other girls start screaming, begin to shiver as if a cold wind is blowing and say Mary has bewitched them. Now there is a lot of pressure on Mary from different sides: Proctor is amazed how the execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible town has developed and is arrested. Hale rushes away because he has realized now that the girls are frauds and he cannot be part of such a court any more.

Three months later Proctor is still in jail and on the day of his hanging Elizabeth comes to his cell. She tells him what has happened in the meantime and they talk about if he should confess, because that would save his life.

He decides to confess because he does not want to die. But for reasons mentioned above he tears up his confession and goes to the gallows. Synopsis When reading this play it is useful to have background information which shows us why Arthur Miller wrote this play. The first important point is McCarthyism, which stands for the hunt of Communists.

So he investigated the American people whether they were somehow involved in Communism. Because of that he knew several writers who used to go to Communist meetings and supported these ideas, but he always refused to denounce them so that the police could arrest them.

The second point is the real historical background. Arthur Miller did some research on the real witch-trials of Salem in 1692 because he was very interested in them.

The historical Salem was a Puritan town, so it is useful to talk about what the Puritans were and how their society was structured. The execution of john proctor in arthur millers play the crucible Puritans in the USA had decided to create their own social system. They believed in the words of the Bible without any comment of a clerical person.

There are also some interesting facts about the historical persons of Salem.

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In reality John Proctor was over 60 years old and Abigail was eleven. Miller changed that, otherwise the affair between them would be somehow inconceivable. Proctor was also not a farmer but a tavern keeper.