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Why is The Crucible considered a tragedy? Many examples would be helpful. I already...

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whataloozerface | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2007 at 9:21 AM via web

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Why is The Crucible considered a tragedy?

Many examples would be helpful.

 I already know that it is because the tragic hero, Proctor, dies in the end, but I want to know more examples.

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mvmaurno | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 11, 2007 at 12:04 PM (Answer #1)

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In addition to Proctor's hanging, you have the tragedies that befall his wife Elizabeth.  In spite of being a good moral woman who would protect her husband even if the cost is her own life, she is still falsely accused of witchcraft and imprisoned.  At the end of the play, she is left without her loving husband who was everything to her.  Of course, you have the larger, surrounding tragedy, which is all the innocent people who were accused of witchcraft during that time and imprisoned or killed, solely based on a hysteria started by bored teenage girls.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 11, 2007 at 3:43 PM (Answer #2)

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It isn't even that Proctor dies, but it is the reason he dies.  One of Proctor's tragic flaws is an inability to rationalize the world around him.  He was unable to rationalize his feelings about Parris with his need to be a part of the community.  He was unable to rationalize Elizabeth's distance from him, and turned impetuously to Abigail.  And in the end, he is unable to rationalize the signing of the paper.  It is a moment of strength for him, but it is also a flaw which brings about his death.

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