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John Proctor Tragic or Pathetic I have given you my soul leave me my name 138 This is the disturbing vision we are left with at the end of Arthur Millers play The Crucible This scream is let out by the main character John Proctor who has been accused of witchcraft and is to be hung on that merit unless he confesses John Proctor is innocent of such deeds yet he will lose his life if he does not admit he committed such a dastardly crime But if he does admit to it he will be considered an outcast in his town and he fears that he will never be able to raise his children properly and be able to teach them to walk like men in the world 137 But in the same spirit how will he be able to teach his children at all if he is hung This is the Trap that has been set for John Proctor His choice though is the one of a coward for if he had instead of being hung chose to live the rest of his life as an outcast he would at least still be able to teach his children the error of his ways Thus because John Proctor had a way out of his trap and opted not to take it because of selfish pride he is not tragic Tragedy has been said to be the progress from ignorance through a cycle of suffering to enlightenment Merle 4 But what exactly does that mean and who would fit this bill of tragedy Arthur Miller was quoted by the essayist Koon as saying The common man is apt a subject for tragedy as kings Koon 5 And the same idea was reaffirmed by George Lillo who said that tragedy need not concern itself soley with kings as quoted by Siegel 92 These statements seem to hold true to the measure no one
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