John Spite Of This Does Arthur Miller Develop Essay Example
John Spite Of This Does Arthur Miller Develop Essay Example

John Spite Of This Does Arthur Miller Develop Essay Example

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  • Pages: 7 (1818 words)
  • Published: June 27, 2018
  • Type: Essay
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John Proctor is initially depicted as a flawed individual, but Arthur Miller skillfully develops his character throughout the play to make us increasingly admire him. Despite facing personal challenges, Proctor gains our admiration by consistently making ethical choices. As the play unfolds, he demonstrates unyielding bravery and belief, ultimately sacrificing everything. Miller masterfully introduces a multifaceted character in Proctor.

In the director's notes, it is clear that John Proctor is highly respected within the puritan community of Salem Massachusetts. However, this respect would likely diminish if they were aware of the secret he is harboring. Proctor is burdened by guilt and has gone against the laws of 17th century Salem. He deviates from the norms of the Puritan religion by openly criticizing his minister, Parris. Proctor believes that Parris is more interested in material po


ssessions than in religion, stating that "there were pewter candle sticks upon the alter… but Parris came and for twenty weeks preach nothing but golden candlestick until he had them." This defiance demonstrates Proctor's rebellious nature and his willingness to question Parris. Additionally, Proctor does not have a good relationship with Putnam.

They are in disagreement over territory "that piece of land is within my boundaries". His initial response to the rumor of witchcraft is that he believes it to be absurd. This demonstrates his strong will and his willingness to defy traditional Puritan beliefs. He has a tight bond with Rebecca, Francis, and Giles as he acknowledges their innate goodness. Proctor is aware that they are devout in their faith and will remain steadfast in it no matter what. John Proctor perceives Paris and Putnam as typical Puritans.

The contrast between the two

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is evident in this situation, where Proctor makes the correct choice, while Rebecca, Giles, and Francis all become martyrs. Proctor, despite his flaws, acknowledges his affair with Abigail Williams. He indulges in flirtation with her and finds joy in teasing her. However, Proctor ultimately realizes the risks involved and attempts to end it.

Abigail attempts to stimulate his memory of their past by recounting the intensity of their affair: "I know how you clutched my back behind your house." Miller's intention is to provoke a sense of shock and disgust in the audience towards Proctor's actions. At this point in the play, the audience would hold little respect for John Proctor. In contrast, John Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth, appear to be a typical puritan couple. The dialogue between them appears polite but somewhat stagnant. The director's notes at the beginning of act two indicate that John Proctor returns home from the village.

He notices the pot of soup simmering and approaches it to add seasoning. This action may signify that the spark has faded from their relationship. Elizabeth remains hesitant to fully forgive and move on due to her uncertainty about John's lingering feelings for Abigail. While Proctor is eating, Elizabeth inquires if he encountered Abigail in Salem. He claims to have been accompanied by a group of people, but Elizabeth detects that this is a falsehood and manages to extract the truth from him.

Proctor's anger is evident when he yells at Elizabeth for revealing her suspicion. "No more! I should have forcefully opposed you when you first told me your suspicion... Some dream I had must have confused you with God that day. But you're

not, you're not, and remember it!" Proctor believes that Elizabeth is imperfect and tries to judge him based on her own standards. He believes she is constantly looking for faults in him.

Proctor is burdened by guilt for his infidelity and makes efforts to earn back his wife's trust. However, she remains suspicious, hindering their progress. The audience disapproves of Proctor's rage towards his wife, who is only trying to prevent him from repeating his betrayal. By act four, Elizabeth and Proctor's relationship has become stronger. Elizabeth realizes her husband's remorse when he publicly acknowledges his affair to the court in order to save her. She believes that this is his initial step towards redemption.

When Proctor makes his decision, Elizabeth refrains from commenting on it, indicating her understanding and recognition that it is solely his choice. Proctor realizes that Elizabeth is the only woman he will ever truly love. The audience agrees with Proctor's decision as they believe it to be correct. Prior to Elizabeth being taken away, Mary Warren reveals awareness of Proctor and Abigail's affair. In response, Proctor becomes aggressive and willing to use violence in order to prevent Mary from going to court. Despite Mary's insistence on attending court, Proctor grows angry and threatens her by saying "I'll official you!" Initially, Proctor believes that Mary should be submissive because she is a common servant. However, as Mary possesses knowledge of his secret, his attitude towards her changes. At this point in the play, Proctor acknowledges that everything might need to become public.

This is a crucial moment as he is willing to tarnish his reputation to protect his wife. Proctor recognizes that Mary may

have the solution to their problem. The marshal comes and apprehends Elizabeth, accusing her of witchcraft. Proctor demands that Mary Warren go to court and reveal the girls' deceitful behavior. Proctor serves as a guardian for Mary Warren, accompanying her to court. In his pursuit of the truth, he proclaims, "we burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment."

Proctor implies his sexual misconduct with Abigail to Danforth, who remains skeptical but allows them to continue. Upon learning of his wife's pregnancy, Proctor understands that she will be safe for at least a year. Proctor advocates for his friend and presses charges, demonstrating loyalty and a belief in the court's corruption, where falsehoods are celebrated and believed. This pivotal moment reveals Proctor's unwavering determination to stand up for his convictions. He is prepared to defy religious norms and Puritan beliefs to do so.

Abigail seizes the opportunity to manipulate the court of justice, becoming its center of attention. She enters the courtroom and claims to have witnessed the apparition of Mary's spirit, causing a chilling effect. With her influence over those in positions of power, Abigail is able to manipulate and control the court, compelling them to accept her claims as truth. Additionally, Proctor discloses the heavy weight he carries on his conscience - the hidden truth about his relationship with Abigail.

John Proctor shocks Abigail by stating, "I have Known her sir, I have known her," and as a result, she refuses to respond when questioned. Proctor uses this tactic to undermine Abigail's credibility with the court and discredit her. Proctor's actions are commendable because he is willing to sacrifice his own reputation in order

to protect those he cares for. The audience admires Proctor even more because he is willing to incriminate himself in order to save his friends from being charged. This revelation would undoubtedly astonish the court and highlight the contrast between their reaction and that of the audience.

Elizabeth faces a dilemma when she is summoned to court to confirm the accusation of harlotry. Unbeknownst to her, her husband has already admitted his guilt. The court separates them to prevent any communication between them. While she doesn't wish to tarnish her husband's reputation, Elizabeth is aware that she cannot and will not tell a lie.

Elizabeth breaks a moment of indecision and tells a significant lie, condemning her husband. Despite contradicting her beliefs, she does so to save Proctor, unknowingly leading to his condemnation. Abigail continues to feign hysteria, pretending that Mary's spirit is morphing and emerging.

Mary is weakened by this intimidation and succumbs to it, ultimately turning on Proctor instead of standing with the girls. Proctor, upon his arrest, is shocked and recognizes the lack of justice. He exclaims, "You are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore," which sets him apart from others in the community once again, showcasing his bravery as he remains steadfast in his convictions throughout the entire play.

Proctor, now condemned of wizardry and held by the court, remains imprisoned until he ironically confesses or remains true. Despite his intentions to plead guilty to witchcraft, Proctor acknowledges that lying again isn't as severe given his prior lies. His reputation is already tarnished, preventing him from having a saint-like death like his friends.

He believes he must remain to provide assistance to his wife

and children. The viewers have conflicting emotions regarding this matter as they are disheartened by him, yet they do not wish to witness John Proctor's demise. Elizabeth declines to express her opinion about his choice. She understands that it is his own decision to make in order to liberate himself from the burden of guilt. Proctor's decision to confess elicits varied responses among other individuals. Initially, Danforth perceives it as an opportunity to question him extensively and force him to accuse other individuals.

Hale feels relieved because it alleviates his guilt, while Rebecca is dismayed and surprised as she recognizes the falsehood of this confession. The dramatic moment occurs when Proctor signs the confession but refuses to hand it over to Danforth. Danforth plans to display it on the church door as a way to demonstrate to the community that it is the correct course of action.

Danforth requires the signed confession as proof of his righteous actions. This is intended to be commendable, but Proctor opposes this as he does not want to be perceived as a scapegoat. Proctor's true dilemma is unveiled in his speech where he wonders how he can exist without his reputation. This speech conveys Proctor's distress as he believes that his name is all he has left. Danforth then asks, "Which path do you choose?" Proctor responds silently, allowing his actions to speak volumes as he tears apart the confession.

Proctor's comment "I finally see a shed of good in John Proctor" underscores his transformation, signifying that he can now face the gibbet with saintly dignity after overcoming adversity and being purified. Throughout the play, the audience's perception of him has completely

shifted, holding him in high regard. Additionally, Proctor's choice to refer to himself by his own name rather than using personal pronouns carries weight as it demonstrates his ability to live up to his good reputation and emphasizes his redemption.

Arthur Miller, the playwright, seeks to teach a moral lesson to the audience. Rather than focusing on historical accuracy, his goal is to use the events of 1692 as a way to convey that anyone can achieve purification despite their flaws, if they have the strength. John Proctor ultimately understands this idea and goes through a transformation. By the end of the play, he becomes a stronger and purer character, earning the admiration of the audience.

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