Sunday, April 18, 2010

John Proctor in Act I

In Act I, John Proctor is first mentioned when he enters Reverend Parris' s house to join the girls. After this event, Abigail William catches Proctor, and tells him that she waits for him every night (Elements of Literature, 1224). Proctor denies that night that they've had an affair, so Abigail starts to insult Elizabeth, John's wife. In turn, Proctor threatens to whip Abigail for insulting her. Abigail swore that she will get her revenge on the Proctor's. This scene foreshadows the doom of either the Proctor's or Abigail Williams.

After this event, Parris starts singing a psalm, and Betty, the girl that in a "trance," starts screaming. Everybody gathers around her and Mrs. Putnam concluded that since Betty is bewitched, she cannot bear to hear the Lord's name.Proctor asked Parris if he consulted the legal authority about this form of witchcraft before calling Reverend Hale. Mr. Putnam demands that Parris should search for signs of witchcraft. However, Proctor reminded Putnam that he cannot make command people on the basis of wealth. Putnam also tells Proctor that he should not worry about the government because he does not attend church daily like a regular citizen. This shows that Proctor is different from most regular citizens. At this time, Proctor feels threatened and seems suspicious.

John Proctor in Act II

In Act II, readers get to see more of Elizabeth and John Proctor. They are sitting at their dinner table, while they discuss the people accused of being witches. John tells Elizabeth that Abigail is behind all these accusations. Elizabeth wants John to tell the court that his is all a scam. However Proctor cannot tell them because Abigail told him this, while they were alone. This cause Elizabeth to lose all faith in Proctor. But Proctor does not want Elizabeth to judge him because he feels as though his house is a courtroom. This scene shows that Proctor and Elizabeth's relationship is sort of "cold and icy."

Later throughout this scene, Reverend Hale enters the Proctors' house. He wants to discuss with everyone whose name was mentioned with witchcraft. He starts to ask John Proctor questions, and also mentions John not being in church regularly. He also tells him that his youngest son was not baptized. In order to prove his point, Hale asked John to recite the Ten Commandments. Proctor recites nine of the ten commandments and repeats a commandment twice. This is because the last commandment that he didn't recite, was the one that he committed, adultery. This shows that even though John is a very upright man, he still holds one dark secret.

John Proctor in Act III

In Act III, readers get to see a more "heroic" side of Proctor. During the scene between Judge Danforth and Proctor, Danforth asks Proctor questions about his religious beliefs. Proctor tells him that he only attends church once a month. This shows how Proctor dislikes Parris's preachings. Cheever, one of the officers in Salem, also adds that Proctor plows on Sunday, which is a huge offense in Salem. These two events ultimately show that Proctor either doesn't believe in God or he doesn't agree with Salem's laws.

Later on in Act III, Judge Danforth tells Proctor and Abigail to turn their backs, so that Elizabeth can enter. Danforth orders Elizabeth to answer some question but to only look into his eyes. One of the questions that he asked her was why she fired Abigail. Elizabeth tries to look at John, but Danforth tells her not to look at him, because the answer to his question is in her head.She tells them that she had mistakenly say Proctor fancied Abigail and Elizabeth fired her without any reason. After this, Elizabeth was sent back to jail and John tells Elizabeth that he already told Danforth the truth. This shows that Elizabeth and John can only connect with each other through eye contact. This also shows that John cannot live without Elizabeth, and that he feels betrayed.

John Proctor in Act IV

In Act IV, readers will see how John Proctor's life came to a heroic end. After John was arrested, Danforth urges Elizabeth to persuade John to confess to witchcraft. She tries to persuade him to confess. However, Proctor asked Elizabeth if he should confess. This scene shows that even though Elizabeth and John lost everything, they still have their love and values. After having an argument with himself, John finally decided to confess. Danforth and Judge Hathorne grabs some paper so that Proctor can write his confession in writing. Proctor asked Danforth why did his confession had to be written. Danforth tells Proctor that his confession will be hung on the church door so that the confession will encourage other people to confess.

From this scene on, readers will see the true side of Proctor. After Proctor signed the confession. He wanted to rip it up. He says that it is enough that the men have witnessed him admitting his crime. He refused to have his name nailed to the church door, showing that he does not need to have his name out into the open for God's approval. So, Proctor rips the confession in half, and was then sentenced to be hanged. This scene showed that even though John Proctor was innocent, he still sacrificed himself for the good of others.