What Makes John Proctor a Tragic Hero?
John Proctor’s pride is his flaw, and it eventually leads to his execution, making him a tragic hero. At the beginning of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible,” the protagonist, Proctor, is a respected Salem resident.
A tragic hero is a protagonist who is highly respected or esteemed despite his or her tragic flaw. This flaw is usually a personality trait that leads to the character’s ultimate destruction. Tragic heroes in classical literature include Captain Ahab and Hamlet.
At the beginning of “The Crucible,” the other characters turn to John Proctor, believing he can stop the accusations of innocents and put an end to the injustices perpetrated by Reverend Parris and the judges. He is unsuccessful and eventually arrested, tried and sentenced to death for his outspokenness.
Proctor’s tragic flaw is his pride. Although he felt remorse for the affair with Abigail, he did not want to admit that he ultimately made a mistake, and that his error was directly tied to the executions. By the end of the play, however, he realizes the effects of his pride and dies knowing he eventually did the right thing.