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Proctor begins the play as a confident and uncompromising figure. By the end of the play, he has regained some of his confidence but only after a series of challenges sees him reduced to false confessions, painful admissions, and soul-searching adversity.
In his first appearance in the play, Proctor is firm and direct. He speaks to Abigail with real authority. Returning home to Elizabeth, we find Proctor penitent and hesitant, though still rather firm. The confidence of character is intact when Proctor convinces Mary Warren to testify at the court about Abigail's lies as well, but this spirit wavers when Proctor is before the court.
When he tells of his affair with Abigail, Proctor becomes somewhat desparate. In prison, he is even more desparate and begins to compromise his integrity. This is his greatest test and his lowest moment, but it leads to his highest.
In Proctor's final recantation of his confession and his refusal to put his principles aside to save his life, we see the triumph of personal integrity in a world of moral uncertainty.
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