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The Crucible Character Comparison Essay

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Crucible essay

In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays the two main characters, John Proctor and Reverend John Hale as "good men". "Good men" in this play have a vague meaning, because the town is struck with mass hysteria. Reverend John Hale was a good man in the sense of being the perfect and good citizen of Massachusetts in the 1600's. He was pious, stuck to the laws and beliefs, and a good Christian minister. John Proctor, on the contrary would not be considered the greatest citizen. He was not so religious, nor the perfect Christian, and was not so apt to follow the Puritan's laws and beliefs. He was still considered a "good man", as a person rather than being an ideal Christian citizen. He was very honest, moral, loyal to his friends and family, and was very generous. The major difference between the two is, Hale is a Reverend and has more of a reputation on the line than Proctor; plus Proctor has done some things that are immoral, or questionable to the church.

The most important trait to prove that John Proctor was a good person was his honesty. In every scene in the play that John Proctor is in, his honesty stands out. It didn't matter how much trouble he would bring himself into, his idea was "I may speak my heart". Proctor's honesty eventually leads to his downfall and death. The first incident in the play where we see Proctor's honesty is after the affair he had with Abigail. He realized his mistake and was honest and admitted it to his wife, Elizabeth. The next time is when Proctor is involved he tells the Reverend Parris why he does not like him, and it also gets him into trouble. He tells him, "Can you speak one minute without we land in hell again, I'm sick of hell! He is honest, yet disrespectful to his reverend. While in court, John Proctor is too honest to the judges. He admits his guilt of not being a religious Christian and says " I have once or twice plowed on Sunday" and he admits not going to church every Sunday. He also admits that he committed adultery and had an affair with Abigail. His most commendable moment of honesty was when he was on death row and would rather die than confess to witchcraft and live. He says, "It is better to die honest than to live and be thought a liar".

Proctor's morality, and loyalty also contribute to being a good person. When the marshals Herrick and Cheever came to arrest his wife, he stuck with her to protect her, even though she was accused of being a witch. He is bold by ripping up the warrant, and risked getting arrested to help her. He is strict to the officer of law and tells him "you'll leave her out of sight and out of mind, mister!" He publicly curses the deputy governor, "Damn the deputy

governor! Out of my house!" He makes a sacrifice to help his family rather than to help himself.

Proctor was a good man, but not such a good Puritan Christian. He didn't go to church every Sunday, and broke the Sabbath by plowing. He broke one of the Ten Commandments by committing adultery. "He is a sinner against the moral fashion of time", the narrator says. He also doesn't believe in all the Puritan beliefs and laws. He didn't believe that witchcraft was invading the community, "I have wondered if there be witches in the world although I cannot believe they come among us now". This is considered heresy towards the beliefs of the Puritan religious authority, and Reverend Hale points that out to Proctor. Proctor did not have



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