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No character grapples with the theme of what honor truly means more so than its protagonist, John Proctor.
Proctor has to defend his indefensible actions when his wife discovers his infidelity with Abigail, the girl who concocts the henious and false charges of witchcraft. Proctor must likewise defend his honor as a moral person when accused of un-Christian behavior by not attending the repulsive services of Reverend Parris, as well as when he stumbles over the recitation of the Ten Commandments.
There are at least two instances of when Proctor directly invokes the word "honor." Most memorably, in Act 3, Proctor shouts, 'I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name!" Here, John refuses to give in to the charges of witchcraft, instead choosing to go to his death in defense of his "honor" by rescinding his "confession." The tone of his honor will forever ring, sounding his good name.
Another memorable quote regarding honor is also voiced by Proctor and found in the final act. John steels his wife Elizabeth for his death and life without him. "Show honor now, show a stony heart, and sink them with it," he says. Proctor urges Elizabeth to not give the cowards the satisfaction of seeing either one of them break.
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