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Arthur Millers play The Crucible is a very powerful statement about Puritan ethics in the 17th century The play depicts a character John Proctor against both his inner conscience to do what is right and against the courts of Salem where he is involved in a crucible to rid the city of witches These circumstances arise for Proctor because of his affair with Abigail Williams the leader of the girls who have started the witch hysteria Throughout the play Proctor is depicted with a character flaw his passiveness Because of this character flaw and his tragic ending to his life Proctor can be regarded as a tragic hero A tragic hero is an individual usually the protagonist who the audience recognizes as a good guy but who possesses a character flaw leading to his or her downfall In the case of The Crucible John Proctor fits this model of a tragic hero He is the protagonist of the novel and is seen as a good all-around person But his character flaw his passiveness led to his downfall which is his hanging Proctors passiveness or unwillingness to involve himself is evident in many aspects in the play In the first Act it is seen that Proctor wishes to distance himself as much as possible from what is happening in Salem--the bewitching of the young girls He has many reasons for doing so First and foremost Proctor is afraid of being seen as a lecher because he thinks that his affair with Abigail may become public Throughout the first act Proctor stays away from the witch trials of Salem he hopes that Reverend Hale will be able to solve the witch problems so that he may continue to keep his affair a secret In a dialogue between Proctor and his wife Elizabeth he says to her on the subject of his not returning to Salem in eight days I have no business in Salem She
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