The tragedy of John ProctorĂs life is that to save his life he must admit to adultery and, in the process, accuse Abigail Williams of fornication. This young woman, one of the key witnesses against the people of Salem, has acquired a public following because of her willingness to describe the presence of the devil in the community. Proctor can be quiet or he can speak, and by choosing to speak, an ordinary man becomes a hero.
Miller, Arthur. 1. The Crucible. New York: Bantam Books,
ed at his wife by the young woman with whom he has been involved. Proctor vows ˘I will fall like an ocean on that port (Miller, 1, 75).÷
This process makes a fragile man into a noble man who admits that he is a lecher. John Proctor and his wife are ultimately caught in a trap from which only one of them will escape. The tragedy is that for Elizabeth Proctor to live, John Proctor must ultimately die. Ordinary men facing extraordinary circumstances often find that they have the courage to be heroes. It is this courage that separates the hero from the rest of mankind.
Still Relevant Today.÷ National Catholic Reporter,