Example research essay topic: Character Analysis Of John Proctor From “the Crucible” – 428 words

In a sense, The Crucible has the structure of a
classical tragedy, with John Proctor as the play’s
tragic hero. Honest, upright, and blunt-spoken,
Proctor is a good man, but one with a secret,
fatal flaw. His lust for Abigail Williams led to
their affair (which occurs before the play
begins), and created Abigail’s jealousy of his
wife, Elizabeth, which sets the entire witch
hysteria in motion. Once the trials begin, Proctor
realizes that he can stop Abigail’s rampage
through Salem but only if he confesses to his
adultery. Such an admission would ruin his good
name, and Proctor is, above all, a proud man who
places great emphasis on his reputation. He
eventually makes an attempt, through Mary Warren’s
testimony, to name Abigail as a fraud without
revealing the crucial information.

When this
attempt fails, he finally bursts out with a
confession, calling Abigail a “whore” and
proclaiming his guilt publicly. Only then does he
realize that it is too late, that matters have
gone too far, and that not even the truth can
break the powerful frenzy that he has allowed
Abigail to whip up. Proctor’s confession succeeds
only in leading to his arrest and conviction as a
witch, and though he lambastes the court and its
proceedings, he is also aware of his terrible role
in allowing this fervor to grow unchecked. Proctor
redeems himself and provides a final denunciation
of the witch trials in his final act. Offered the
opportunity to make a public confession of his
guilt and live, he almost succumbs, even signing a
written confession. His immense pride and fear of
public opinion compelled him to withhold his
adultery from the court, but by the end of the
play he is more concerned with his personal
integrity than his public reputation.

He still
wants to save his name, but for personal and
religious, rather than public, reasons. Proctor’s
refusal to provide a false confession is a true
religious and personal stand. Such a confession
would dishonor his fellow prisoners, who are brave
enough to die as testimony to the truth. Perhaps
more relevantly, a false admission would also
dishonor him, staining not just his public
reputation, but also his soul. By refusing to give
up his personal integrity Proctor implicitly
proclaims his conviction that such integrity will
bring him to heaven. He goes to the gallows
redeemed for his earlier sins.

As Elizabeth says
to end the play, responding to Hale’s plea that
she convince Proctor to publicly confess: “He have
his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!”.

Research essay sample on Character Analysis Of John Proctor From the Crucible