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Any ideas for quotes that depict John Proctor as an honorable character (as well as...

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pds24 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM via web

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Any ideas for quotes that depict John Proctor as an honorable character (as well as quotes talking about his downfall at the end of the play) in The Crucible?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 16, 2013 at 9:50 PM (Answer #1)

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In the final act of the play, Proctor refuses to sign the confession and in the conversation that follows says a number of things that demonstrate his sense of honor. 

"I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!" 

Here Proctor is boldly and honorably admitting to his flaws, which are weighing on him in this moment. Proctor realizes that by confessing falsely to witchcraft he is condemning his friends and neighbors. This is the "black sin" he refers to. He goes on to say that he has sold his friends:

"I have three children - how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?" 

We can argue that only a person of honor would speak this way and worry that without honor he would be an inadequate parent. Ironically, it is Proctor's proclamation that he is low and has down wrong that proves he is a person who believes in honor and values honor. 


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